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