Britain needs global banks like JP Morgan
LONDON: The value of banking to Britain was highlighted on Monday when Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury, took time off from his department's banker bashing agenda to congratulate bankers at JP Morgan for spending about £600m acquiring the old Lehman Brothers building in Canary Wharf and another big office development in London, 60 Victoria Embankment. It shows JP Morgan thinks there's value in the UK, which is a welcome reminder that we've still got things others want, despite the decidedly mixed messages from the Government and unions.
JP Morgan is a Wall Street firm involved in global investment banking. London is its European home because the UK is an international financial centre. This is not the same thing at all as our domestic banking industry of branches, cash machines, savings and loans. This quite separate international banking business plugs the UK economy into a rich Gulf Stream of commerce and trade that relies on financial services. International companies make the UK their global home, or at least their international headquarters, to be close to these essential banking services and pools of capital that we're rich in.
These are real companies, such as GE, Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline, that don't just have a large corporate office here but have factories and make things here, too. They create skilled jobs, take on apprentices and produce exports - not to mention tax revenues. But they wouldn't stay here if the world-class professional services they need weren't here as well. -PB News