Fi­nan­cial fig­ure head calls for clar­ity over brexit

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY COLM KELPIE

THE City of Lon­don could see an “avalanche” of com­pa­nies leav­ing un­less the UK gov­ern­ment can bring some clar­ity to the Brexit talks and the pro­posed tran­si­tion, the mayor of Lon­don’s fi­nan­cial district has warned.

Al­der­man An­drew Parm­ley, Lord Mayor of the City of Lon­don, said there has so far been lit­tle move­ment of staff out of Lon­don to other lo­ca­tions as a re­sult of the Brexit vote, but prepa­ra­tions are be­ing made.

Mr Parm­ley, who will also visit Belfast to­mor­row, said: “In terms of peo­ple ac­tu­ally leav­ing the City, we’re told night and day that the City is go­ing to de­camp to Dub- lin, to Frankfurt, to Paris, to New York etc. Thus far we’ve seen very lit­tle move­ment of peo­ple, although we’ve seen a great deal of prepa­ra­tion for move­ment.”

Mr Parm­ley will visit Belfast’s Cen­tre for Se­cure IT (CSIT) at Queen’s Uni­ver­sity.

CSIT is the UK’S main site for re­search into cy­ber-se­cu­rity.

Mr Parm­ley added: “North­ern Ire­land’s fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor has seen ex­po­nen­tial growth in re­cent years, thanks to its tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions, skilled work­force, com­pet­i­tive cost of prop­erty and abil­ity to at­tract in­ward in­vest­ment. I want to en­sure that this trend con­tin­ues and I’m de­lighted to be vis­it­ing.”

At a Dublin Cham­ber Brexit lunch, he said JP Morgan was plan­ning on dou­bling its head­count in the EU out­side the UK, as it plans to ex­pand its staff in Dublin, but is still re­tain­ing 14,000 work­ers in the Square Mile.

“That’s the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion but this could be­come a com­plete avalanche, or del­uge, if we don’t get clar­ity about tran­si­tion.”

Mr Parm­ley holds the cer­e­mo­nial post of mayor of the mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­ity that over­sees Lon­don’s fi­nan­cial district.

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