Wilbur Ross, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Commerce secretary, has urged other countries to exploit the "God-given opportunity" to steal business from the U.K., according to a report in The Times.
Ross urged Cypriot financiers to strike during this "period of confusion" in Britain to draw businesses away from the City. He made the remarks before the U.S. election and his selection by the Trump.
"I recommend that Cyprus should adopt and immediately announce even more liberal financial service policies than it already has so that it can try to take advantage of the inevitable relocations that will occur during the period of confusion," Ross said, according to The Times.
He further added that Britain's departure from the European Union was a "God-given opportunity" for the City's financial rivals, especially Frankfurt and Dublin in particular.
If confirmed as Commerce secretary, Ross would be among those responsible for negotiating a free trade deal with the U.K. But his comments have sparked speculation that the U.S. may seek to exploit the uncertainty created by Brexit in order to lure business away from London.