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Bank chief wants UK to stay in EU

The head of one of the world's leading investment banks has said Britain should remain in the EU, describing London as "a great financial capital of the world".

Goldman Sachs' president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn said it is the best thing "for all of us" that the financial services industry stays in London.

Mr Cohn told the BBC: "I think for the UK it's imperative to keep the financial services industry in London.

"We all want to stay in London - it is our European headquarters.

"I think that having a great financial capital of the world staying in the UK and having the UK be part of Europe is the best thing for all of us."

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to hold an in-out referendum on Britain's membership of the EU if the Conservatives regain power in the general election in May.

Matthew Eilliott, chief executive of cross party campaign group Business for Britain, said: "When Britain was debating whether to join the Euro, Goldman Sachs threatened to pull out of the UK if we didn't and forecast the demise of the City and British financial services. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

"The EU is imposing new financial regulations on the City which might be suitable for the Eurozone, but are not appropriate for Britain as a non-Eurozone member state. We have recently lost cases in the European Court on bankers salaries, the ban on short selling and the Financial Transactions Tax, all of which make the City less competitive than Wall Street.

"We need to protect the City and our position outside the Eurozone when we renegotiate our membership of the EU. The current position may suit the multi-millionaires at Goldman Sachs, but it holds back small and medium sized companies in the UK which are the main employers in our economy."

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: "EU politics is dominated by big banks, big business and big government.

"Goldman Sachs was politically involved in getting Greece into the euro and having a former employee appointed as the puppet prime minister of Italy.

"Goldman Sachs represents the governing status quo and not the global trading capital that the City of London needs to be."

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