Ham­mond in at­tempt to charm chiefs of US banks

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - BY KALYEENA MAKORTOFF

PHILIP Ham­mond will meet the bosses of ma­jor US banks this week as part of a charm of­fen­sive aimed at pro­mot­ing the UK’s global stand­ing amid a fal­ter­ing do­mes­tic econ­omy and in­tense Brexit fears.

The Chan­cel­lor, who is in Wash­ing­ton for the an­nual In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund (IMF) meet­ing, will travel to New York in the com­ing days to hold talks with the heads of fi­nan­cial ser­vices gi­ants that to­gether have a mar­ket cap of nearly £600bn.

He will meet top bosses at JP Mor­gan and Citi as well as as­set man­agers Black­stone and Black­Rock, con­tin­u­ing a di­a­logue with ma­jor US banks as many pre­pare to shift por­tions of their UK op­er­a­tions to the EU in prepa­ra­tion for Brexit.

It will cap a week that will have seen Mr Ham­mond meet fel­low fi­nance min­is­ters and cen­tral bankers in Wash­ing­ton, where he will also at­tend the G20 and G7 meet­ings, and touch on top­ics in­clud­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity, dig­i­tal tax­a­tion and in­ter­na­tional trade.

That is on top of a Com­mon­wealth Fi­nance Min­is­ters meet­ing, the first at­tended by a UK Chan­cel­lor in seven years, and talks with mem­bers of the US ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Chan­cel­lor said: “I will be in the US this week to demon­strate that Global Bri­tain is not just a phrase, it is a re­al­ity. I am look­ing for­ward to pro­duc­tive dis­cus­sions with my in­ter­na­tional col­leagues as we work to­gether to en­sure that eco­nomic growth works for ev­ery­one.”

Mr Ham­mond’s US trip comes amid fears that Bri­tain is rac­ing to a hard Brexit that would ham­mer busi­nesses and the lu­cra­tive fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor.

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