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‘London’s post-Brexit rivals should be Singapore and New York’

Singapore employers now pay $4,000 to $5,000 to bring each foreign worker under initiatives spearheaded by industry associations, the report said. Photo: AFP

London’s post-Brexit financial services industry must look to compete more with Singapore and New York rather than with leading EU centres, the head of British bank Barclays has said.

“I think what London needs to be focused on is not Frankfurt or Paris, it needs to be focused on New York and Singapore,” Barclays chief executive Jes Staley told the BBC on Friday.

And the UK’s powerhouse financial sector, which represents around seven per cent of the nation’s economy, should emerge stronger from Brexit, according to Staley. 

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“Brexit gives the UK the opportunity to define its own agenda,” he said, adding that he did not feel there was any need for deregulation to achieve this end.

“And in defining that agenda around financial services, staying competitive with other markets outside of Europe is really what the government should be focused on – and I think that is what they are focusing on.” 

Britain’s departure from the European Union was finalised on January 1. The nation’s long-awaited Brexit trade deal with the EU, agreed over Christmas, did not however include the finance sector. 


Brussels and London are aiming to seal a memorandum of understanding about financial services by March. 

“What the UK needs and London needs, is to make sure that the City is one of the best places, whether (in terms of) regulation or law or language, or talent, that manages these flows of capital wealth,” Staley said.

  • AFP

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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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