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British PM May tells bankers they are a priority for Brexit amid job warnings

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Andrew and Anjuli Davies

(Reuters) - British told bankers from firms such as on Thursday they were a priority for her in the Brexit talks, just as new warnings emerged of job losses in the financial sector unless there is a trade deal.

May's comments contrast sharply with her stance before last year's election when she made a point of showing voters she wanted to break with what some considered an overly cosy relationship between big business and the government.

"It was an encouraging, positive meeting," a briefed on the talks said. "The whole point of the meeting was to say to us, look we know you feel we haven't prioritised you so far in the negotiations, but we will."

Last year, bankers complained that they were not being listened to by May's government as prepared to leave the European Union, which is due to happen in March 2019.

As May plots Britain's course for Brexit, London's vast industry is scrambling to prepare for losing access to the world's biggest trading bloc, the City of London's biggest challenge since at least the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

May met in with some of Europe's most powerful financiers including Mark Tucker, the chairman, Axel Weber, the chairman, and Richard Gnodde, of International .

The meeting focused on Brexit, how to make a more attractive place for and how to rein in executive pay, three people briefed on the talks said.

told May that Britain's tax regime is uncompetitive and more could be done to make it more attractive, sources said.

A said the executives asked for more clarity on the future relationship between and and the asked them to emphasise the benefit of preserving London's position as Europe' financial centre.


The meeting came after warned that would be shunted into a "lost decade" of low investment and shed almost 500,000 jobs if it fails to agree a trade deal with the

Khan cited research from the Econometrics consultancy which showed that in a no-deal scenario, the industry that fares the worst will be financial and professional services, with as many as 119,000 fewer jobs nationwide.

Hours earlier recruitment firm said Brexit was the main reason for a 37 percent drop in new jobs available in London's financial sector last month.

vies with as the world's financial capital. By far the biggest financial centre, dominates the $5.1-trillion-a-day global foreign exchange market and hosts more banks than any other centre.

But other capitals see Brexit as an opportunity to grab business from The has already proposed that clearing of euro-denominated derivatives, done mainly in London, could move to the euro zone without a comprehensive Brexit deal.

A stand-off between and the over future access to the single market for London's industry is shaping up to be one of the key Brexit battlegrounds before is due to leave the bloc in March 2019.


Many banks, insurers and other financial firms are enacting contingency plans to shift parts of their European operations to the continent because they are likely to lose the right to sell their products freely within the bloc from

reported that would demand pay for financial firms to have access to the market after Brexit, though officials said would not be able to cherry pick its post-Brexit relationship.

A on Thursday said will not pay for market access.

(Reporting By Andrew and Anjuli Additional reporting by Lawrence White, and ; editing by Guy Faulconbridge/Jeremy Gaunt)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 02:00 IST