Brexit vote would be 'terrible deal' for British economy, JP Morgan chief says
The chief executive of an international bank has warned that Brexit would "be a terrible deal for the British economy" and could cause the company to cut jobs in the UK.
Speaking alongside Chancellor George Osborne at JP Morgan's base in Bournemouth, Dorset, Jamie Dimon said the consequences of a British withdrawal from the EU could have an impact on its 16,000 staff in locations in Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Swindon.
He said: "My observation of the facts is that a vote to Leave would be a terrible deal for the British economy.
"At a minimum, a Brexit will result in years of uncertainty and I believe that this uncertainty will hurt the economies of both Britain and the European Union."
Saying the company would have to react quickly to a decision to leave the EU, he said: "One realistic outcome is that we lose the ability to passport our banking and trading services into Europe.
"But our clients will still need us to trade within what will then be the EU. If that's what the rules say, we will need to do what works.
"So if the UK leaves the EU, we may have no choice but to re-organise our business model here. Brexit could mean fewer JP Morgan jobs in the UK and more jobs in Europe."
Mr Dimon warned of "trade retaliation" against the UK arising in the uncertainty that would follow a decision to Leave.
He said: "At a minimum, a Brexit will result in years of uncertainty and I believe that this uncertainty will hurt the economies of both Britain and the European Union.
"In a bad scenario, and this is not the worst-case scenario, trade retaliation against Britain by countries in the European Union is possible, even though this would not be in their own self-interest.
"Retaliation would make things even worse for the British and the European economies. And it is hard to determine if the long-run impact would strengthen the European Union or cause it to break apart.
"The European Union began with a collective resolve to establish peace after centuries of devastating wars and to create a better economy and greater prosperity for its citizens. These two goals still exist, and they are still worth striving for."
Leading Leave campaigner Steve Baker said voters would not be bullied by someone "whose bank helped crash the economy".
The Tory MP said: " Campaigners for Brussels can't have it both ways.
"They say the EU is about peaceful cooperation, yet then they threaten us if we dare to consider taking back control in favour of a relationship based on trade rather than EU diktats.
"The British people will not be bullied into voting to hand more money and more power to Brussels by someone whose bonus would make even some eurocrats' eyes water and whose bank helped crash the economy.
"It's time for 'In' campaign to engage in an honest debate, not make unsubstantiated and illogical threats which are the real danger to our economy."
Leave.EU co-chairman Arron Banks said: "Jamie Dimon has already been laying off thousands of people in London while taking eye-watering pay rises for himself. His bank has paid out literally billions in fines and settlements since the crash.
"Ordinary voters - particularly Labour voters - need to ask themselves some serious questions about whether a Remain vote, which serves the vested interests of these disgraced multi-nationals, is at all likely to serve the public interest. Their recent and well-documented activities certainly haven't."