Brexit could lead to a fragmentation of the financial services industry in Europe, incapable of fighting against major financial hubs like New York and Singapore, a senior Italian official told CNBC in an exclusive interview.
"There's a danger in fact. We are concerned because having an easy and relatively cheap access to market capitals here in London is very important for our industry at large. We'd not like seeing all the activities shifting from Europe to New York or Singapore. We'd all lose out in this case," Pasquale Terracciano, the Italian ambassador to the U.K. told CNBC Monday.
Italian officials are therefore campaigning to attract asset managers and private equity firms to 'complement' rather than 'compete' with the City of London, as the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union and with it losing access to passporting rights - the ability that allows financial services firms in the U.K. to run operations and offer services throughout the European Economic Area.
"This is what could make the pitch from Milan different from Frankfurt…Milan isn't pretending to be in a position to become the new London," Terracciano said.