(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson said the City of London will prosper outside the European Union, noting job losses and disruption to capital flows have been lower than feared.
The U.K. prime minister said in an interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait that banks moved “far fewer” roles to other European cities than they originally threatened. He expects Britain and the EU will work together to protect their intertwined financial markets, despite ongoing rows over Northern Ireland and fishing rights that have complicated progress.
“It’s profoundly in the interest of our partners to ensure that we do have good relations, we do continue to see proper flow of capital and services between London and all the other parts of Europe, and I’m sure that that will continue,” Johnson said.
Both sides benefit from protecting the City of London as a financial hub, Johnson said, even as he talked up the prospect of regulatory changes that the bloc has warned against.
Brexit has cut some ties between London and financial centers inside the European Union, leading to a chunk of equity trading and other business shifting from London to the bloc, and even to New York. But Johnson said London’s entrenched strengths mean it will remain a dominant financial center.
“The timezone, the language, the rule of law, the deep pools of liquidity in the City of London, the attractions of having some of the best universities in the world” are still there to ensure the city draws in global finance, as well as new sectors such as fintech, Johnson said.
It’s the latest attempt by the U.K government to champion a sector that it largely ignored during the Brexit negotiations. Finance minister Rishi Sunak pledged in July to sharpen the City of London’s competitive edge amid the launch of several reviews and consultations aimed at making Britain a more attractive destination for finance firms.
Johnson’s comments come ahead of a global investment summit Tuesday that U.K. leaders hope will showcase the country’s benefits to business. It has drawn business leaders including JPMorgan Chase & Co. boss Jamie Dimon, BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon, who were among the guests at a dinner hosted by Johnson in 10 Downing Street on Monday night.
The government on Monday announced a total of 10 billion pounds ($14 billion) in deals between foreign and British companies, including deals for offshore windfarms, climate-friendly warehouses and a 220 million-pound investing round by peer-to-peer lender Zopa, led by Softbank Vision Fund 2.
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