City of London Corporation warns over Brexit

City of London Corporation warns Brexit would make “banks and professional services organisations consider relocating elsewhere on the continent.”

Speaking at an EU Referendum Debate, hosted by the City Property Association this evening (5 May 2016), Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Mark Boleat, said:

“If the UK votes to leave the EU, there would be significant consequences for the City of London’s role as an international financial centre, as well as to London’s world-leading property market.

“The uncertainty prompted by this referendum has already had an impact on the City of London’s property market. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has reported that there has been a steady easing in international demand for UK office, industrial and retail property since the referendum was announced last year. In fact in London, 80% of RICS members said that uncertainty around the referendum was holding back investment. This aversion to invest was also highlighted by international private equity firm KKR indicating that exiting the EU would be “dire” for the British Economy, and it would not be conducting any deals in the UK in advance of the referendum.

“The City is an invaluable asset for the United Kingdom and the EU as a whole, hosting more than 250 foreign banks, and over 200 foreign law firms. Of these institutions more than half of them have their European headquarters here in London. If the UK was to leave the European Union, and the access to the European single market that comes with membership, it would have slow, but measurable consequences as banks and professional services organisations consider relocating parts of the businesses elsewhere in the EU with a knock-on effect for the broader economy and property prices.”