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Big firms will leave London over Brexit, UK bank chief says

LONDON (AVRUPA TIMES)-Several finance companies are “contingency planning” to leave London if the U.K. votes to leave the EU, according to the country’s central bank chief.


Bank of England governor Mark Carney said it was “without question” that some businesses would relocate their headquarters away from the British capital if June’s referendum produces a vote to leave.


Giving evidence to the U.K. parliament’s Treasury Committee, he said some foreign firms – including major institutions – were putting together contingency plans for their European headquarters.


He said: “There are views that have been expressed publicly and privately by a number of institutions that they would look at it. I would say a number of institutions are contingency planning for that possibility – major institutions, foreign headquartered, which have their European headquarters here.


"There would be an impact. I can't give you a precise number in terms of institutions or jobs or activity, because we don't know where we would be on that continuum between full mutual recognition or pure third-country access.”


The risk to London as a global financial center is cited by pro-European campaigners as a reason why voters should opt to keep Britain within the EU.


Carney also argued the EU had “likely increased the dynamism of the UK economy and correspondingly its ability to grow without generating risks to the Bank’s primary objectives of monetary and financial stability”.


But anti-EU figures criticized Carney for making remarks outside of the politically-neutral governor’s remit.


Jacob Rees-Mogg, a lawmaker on the committee, said: “It is speculative and beneath the dignity of the Bank of England to be making speculative, pro-EU comments.”


Britain’s in-out referendum on its EU membership will be held on 23 June.

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