Financial Times: Britain's EU exit could lead to banking exodus

David Cameron and Nick Clegg in Paris. [UK in France/Flickr]

Some Wall Street banks are drawing up preliminary plans that include moving some of their London-based operations to Ireland to deal with the possible scenario of Britain leaving the European Union, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Citigroup Inc (C.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) are considering Ireland as an alternative location for some of their European activities if they need to move them out of the UK, according to people familiar with the banks, the Financial Times reported.

The FT reported that the plans were at a very early stage.

Bank of America and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the article. Citigroup could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular working hours.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to conduct a referendum on a renegotiated EU membership if the Conservative party is re-elected in 2015. This possibility has raised fears that the world's sixth-largest economy could quit the club it joined in 1973.

The situation worries many in the City of London, the financial centre that accounts for roughly one-tenth of the British economy.



the Englishman's picture

As usual EU propaganda strikes again. Anything to put fear into the British population about leaving the EU Mafia. However I have first hand information that at least one of the biggist US banks is leaving Europe completely. So much for just leaving the UK, its dumping the whole EU!!

GeorgeMc's picture

The FT, who are rabidly pro Europe, would be an excellent source for such a scare story. They do not go on to say the problems Ireland would have if the UK were to leave the EU and therefore the unlikelihood of this arising. Frankfurt, possibly, Dublin no chance.

Jay's picture

There was a bit in the American market news today that asking home prices in London have been following the Titanic but sinking more rapidly than the old steel version went down.

Joe Thorpe's picture

The UK was the Eurozones largest export market yet again, are the really going to close down trading links to their biggest market place? Ms Merkel always looks out for Germany first, the Eurozone 2nd & the EU 3rd.

Southron's picture

The City will be slaughtered if the UK leaves the EU; There is no interest in the EU, one of the largest trade blocs in the world, not to have a global finance capital inside of it. If it can't be London, then it will be Frankfurt - Politicians will see to that.

And the Brits need to understand that the US doesnt love you as much as you love them - their companies will relocate to any place where English is spoken.

celt darnell's picture

London is a global financial centre, not merely a European one.

I don't think any of us have any illusions about the Americans "loving" us. But we know damned sure you Europeans don't even like us (after saving you from Napoleon and Hitler -- no good deed goes unpunished).

As for your line about companies relocating and Frankfurt replacing London as a financial centre, You lot already said that would happen when we didn't join the Euro.

Try come up with something new.

Jay's picture

Britain's role in Europe is to be a pain. Be selfish, as with the euro. Remain a member of the EU for the sake of the economic benefits, but continue to oppose the principle of ever-closer union. Block unnecessary integration by any means necessary and, if it can't be blocked, refuse as far as possible to have those terms applied to the U.K.

One day, maybe, this posture will so exasperate the rest of the union that the other governments will ask Britain to leave on terms too generous to resist. In pursuit of that enticing possibility, the U.K. should devote itself to being as much of a pain as possible. It comes easily, and it's worked quite well so far.

celt darnell's picture

Yeah, I love the way that when Britain follows its national interests its "selfish." Because, say, France's defense of the CAP is based on disinterested enlightenment.

Frankly, I'd like nothing better if the rest of the EU kicked us out.

They won't though because they need our money as the second-largest contributor after Germany.

But of course, that's not being selfish, is it?