EU could force finance staff to move post-Brexit, JPM chief warns

By John Lappin

Added 11th July 2017

The chairman and chief executive of global investment bank JP Morgan Jamie Dimon has warned it is decisions made in the European Union not in the UK that will determine if thousands more jobs move from London to other European centres in the wake of Brexit.

EU could force finance staff to move post-Brexit, JPM chief warns

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The bank has already set out plans to move hundreds of jobs from London to EU centres in preparation, including obtaining licences in Frankfurt and opening a centre in Dublin for its custody business.

However while attention had focused on what would happen on the run up to Brexit, Dimon said this is only the ‘first step’. He warned that after that date much depends on EU decisions surrounding the equivalence of UK regulations.

He said: “Once you have that first step, if the EU determines over time that they want to start to move a lot more jobs out of London into the EU, they can simply dictate that. The regulators can dictate it, the politicians can dictate it.

“We have 16,000 people in the UK, but think of it as 75% of that is servicing EU companies. [If] regulators say one day we’re not comfortable - your risk people, your lawyers, your compliance being in the UK - they can make us move them. We will simply be subject to what they do down the road. And hopefully we can handle that and continue to serve our clients in the meantime.”

Last week, the chairman of the FCA Andrew Bailey appealed to the EU to accept equivalence, arguing that firms should decide their location based on what the market determines rather than have their location dictated by regulation arguing that this made financing cheaper for both the UK and the EU.

He said: “Well-integrated financial markets support economic growth and employment. They reduce the cost of access to financial services by encouraging competition.

“Firms should be able to take their own decisions on where they locate, subject to appropriate regulatory arrangements being in place, which preserve the public interest. Authorities should not dictate the location of firms. Rather, we should allow open markets to shape those choices, always subject to our public interest objectives.”

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