I over­es­ti­mated the ef­fect of Brexit, says Gold­man’s chief

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Lucy Bur­ton

GOLD­MAN Sachs’ boss has ad­mit­ted to over­es­ti­mat­ing the im­me­di­ate im­pact Brexit would have on the UK, adding that he was sur­prised there hasn’t “been a more dra­matic ef­fect”.

Lloyd Blank­fein, who has sug­gested the City could lose out to ri­val fi­nan­cial cen­tres in the wake of the vote, told the web­site Politico: “I’m at least wrong in the fact I thought there would have been a worse out­come by now.”

Mr Blank­fein has been a vo­cal critic of Brexit, tak­ing a se­ries of pot­shots at the process on Twit­ter.

In a post to his 90,000 fol­low­ers last Novem­ber, he sug­gested a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum should be held on Brexit, cit­ing the “tough and risky road ahead”. In a sep­a­rate tweet, he said Lon­don could lose out on busi­ness to Frank­furt, say­ing: “Just left Frank­furt. Great meet­ings, great weather, really en­joyed it. Good, be­cause I’ll be spend­ing a lot more time there. #Brexit”

The bank re­cently signed a new lease in the Ger­man city that gives it ca­pac­ity to house up to 1,000 staff there. Its new, larger Lon­don of­fice is due to open next year.

Speak­ing to Politico, he said that the Wall Street bank­ing gi­ant might not have cho­sen to build the £1bn EU hub in Lon­don had it known about Brexit.

Mr Blank­fein said while its EU head­quar­ters would re­main in Lon­don “we might have made a dif­fer­ent de­ci­sion a few years ago” had they known the UK was go­ing to leave.

He warned that just be­cause the US bank is still build­ing the 6,000-per­son of­fice as planned be­fore the vote does not mean the fall­out will not be felt in the City later down the line.

“There are de­ci­sions that are go­ing to be made to­day that will be dif­fer­ent,” he said. “Peo­ple who might be build­ing build­ings four years from now won’t be.”

Gold­man Sachs’ Lloyd Blank­fein says he was sur­prised Brexit hasn’t had a more dra­matic ef­fect for the UK econ­omy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.