LONDON (Reuters) - UK finance minister Philip Hammond, on his first trip to Wall Street since being appointed in July, plans to assure some of the top U.S. top banks on Thursday that Britain is still the world’s leading global finance hub despite its Brexit vote.
Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dublin have made pitches to lure finance companies from Britain, and a survey last week suggested London’s dominance could be under threat as the implications of leaving the Europen Union sink in.
Hammond will say that Britain would continue to welcome the best workers from around the world, just 24 hours after the interior minister said the government wanted to “flush out” companies that were not doing enough to hire British staff.
“One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs,” Hammond will tell bankers in New York.
“This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum result and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre,” Hammond will say.
Hammond’s office said he planned to meet bankers from Citi (C.N), BNY Mellon (BK.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N), who together employ more than 25,000 people in Britain, as well as other financial services firms.
UK-based firms are keen to retain the “passporting” rights that allow them to sell services across the EU from London, and have urged the government to reach a transitional deal to avoid disruption to financial markets.
Last month Hammond warned other EU countries they would be making a “huge mistake” if they tried do undermine London’s dominance as a global financial centre.
This week he vowed to protect the economy from any turbulence during negotiations to leave the bloc, as sterling fell on worries Britain is heading towards a disruptive divorce with its biggest trading partner.
Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Louise Ireland; Editing by Louise Ireland