UK dismisses Blankfein's Brexit tweet: London will remain 'premier financial center of the world'

Key Points
  • Fox claims London will stay the "premier financial center of the world"
  • On the same panel, the Italian finance minister says there will be some impact on London
  • Comments followed a Brexit related tweet from the Goldman Sachs CEO
London will 'remain pre-eminent' after Brexit, UK trade secretary says

London won't lose its title as the world's number one financial center after Brexit, according to the U.K's International Trade Minister.

Liam Fox was asked at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh if he was troubled by a recent tweet from Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein that appeared to suggest Frankfurt in Germany would be the best place for financial services once Britain left the EU.

Speaking as part of a panel, Fox said London still held many advantages and suggestions that London could lose financial capital after Brexit didn't bother him.

"No, London is and has been the premier financial center of the world. It has a depth of financial infrastructure that really stretches across the United Kingdom. It has got a level of liquidity that people struggle to find anywhere else," Fox added.

Fox made the argument that people would continue to invest and operate in the U.K. because the country had low taxation, low regulation, English as a language and was a great location for trade.

The cabinet minister reinforced his belief that for financial services, London would remain at the top of the pile.

"If you want to put it in shorthand people say money will go where money can be made, money can be moved, and money can be removed. That is a function of law and that is why London will remain pre-eminent."

EU will accelerate integration after Brexit: Italian finance minister

Speaking on the same panel, the Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan offered a less rosy view of Brexit, arguing that there would be some negative consequences for London and Britain.

"I am a bit more skeptical that after Brexit this will be untouched, and I am not saying this because I like the view. This is simply a fact," Padoan said.

The Italian minister also noted that one consequence could be a more rapid development of the European Union's institutions and framework.

"I am convinced that also because of Brexit, the European Union will accelerate its integration," he said.

Padoan noted that between now and the summer of 2018 there were two major EU talks scheduled with further integration placed at the top of the agenda.

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