Brexit boost as UK firms bullish about London’s future despite Project Fear warnings

Brexit: City of London backed to thrive by Daniel Hodson

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More than two-thirds of UK financial services firms are confident about London retaining its status as a leading global hub, the report by Lloyds Bank found. This comes despite warnings leaving the European Union would be a disaster for the City.

Some 32 percent of respondents believe competitiveness in the sector will improve over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, 17 percent said competitiveness in the sector would worsen.

Almost half of those that expect competitiveness to increase cite Britain abandoning Brussels’ rules as a key factor.

Adrian Walkling, head of financial services at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “This year’s survey emphasises the belief in London as a global centre for trade and finance as firms anticipate and adapt to the new regulatory environment.

“The benefit of this will resonate beyond the capital, having a positive impact on financial services firms and the communities they serve across the country.”

Most financial institutions are more confident about the economy and their own sector’s prospects than they were in 2020, according to the report.

Nearly nine in 10 believe UK economic growth will improve over the next 12 months.

This is up from just 20 percent last year.

And 51 percent also expect growth in the UK financial services sector to improve over the next year.

Mr Walkling added: “Financial institutions’ confidence is on the rise as they emerge from a challenging 12 months.

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“Following extensive investment in digitisation over the past decade, our sector was well-positioned to endure the Covid-19 pandemic, but firms still had to adapt quickly to support their customers.

“They did this by drawing on the determination of their people and the spirit of innovation that has made UK financial services world-leading.

“I’m confident financial services will remain a driver of our prosperity and opportunity as the recovery from the pandemic enters a new phase.”

Respondents to the survey include major banks, asset and wealth management firms, insurers and intermediaries, both in London and across the UK.

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