LONDON Oct 10 The head of energy trader Vitol
who helped fund the unsuccessful campaign to keep Britain in the
European Union said on Monday the pound's demise since the
Brexit vote has helped to lower costs for his London offices.
Ian Taylor, who is also a donor to the ruling Conservative
Party, told a Reuters Global Commodities Summit it was too early
to say whether London can retain its global financial status
because the rules that will dictate Britain's divorce from the
EU have yet to be agreed.
Swiss-based Vitol, the world's largest independent energy
trader with a turnover of $168 billion last year, has one of its
main offices in London, a commodities trading hub.
Britain's decision to leave the EU surprised global markets,
dragging the pound down to multi-decade lows and sparking fears
in the City, London's financial centre, that businesses will
"Obviously, overhead costs inevitably go down in London
which I suppose is marginally good for our shareholders in the
sense that it's cheaper to run London, but it's still a pretty
small part of our overall portfolio," Taylor told Reuters.
"It makes London slightly more attractive," he said.
Many business and top global banks warned they may move
staff out of London especially if Britain loses, or fails to
renegotiate access to, the European bank passport system.
Without it, transactions would be more complicated and
"It's hard to see that all the jobs that are here in the
City, involving particularly some of the European passporting
activities, will still be here but it's too early to say what's
really going to happen," Taylor said.
"I'm sure financial organisations are probably inevitably
looking at their options but I can't see London totally
disappearing from the world of international finance."
Vitol trades over 6 million barrels of crude oil and refined
products every day, shipping over 300 million tonnes last year.
(Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)