Belfast Telegraph

Awareness of financial services sector strength 'crucial in Brexit negotiations'

The Bank of England's chief economist has said it is crucial that the Government considers the strength of Britain's financial services sector when it negotiates a Brexit deal.

Andy Haldane applauded the sector for its financial contribution to the country and said that Britain would be worse off without it.

"The truth is, financial services is a very significant earner for UK PLC. It delivers a big current account surplus for the UK, without which our 7% of GDP current account deficit would be even larger," he said during an event organised by the Institute for Government on Thursday.

"And whatever your subjective or emotional view on the merits of financial services, it is an area where the UK, as the facts reveal, does do relatively well.

"It doesn't mean it's the most important thing or the only important thing, but having some awareness of what we do well is going to be crucial for these negotiations ahead," he said.

Financial services have been anxiously awaiting news over whether the Government will be able to secure passporting rights to grant free access to the single market, or risk losing out to rival financial centres across the EU.

Experts have speculated that cities including Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris could end up siphoning off some of the City's business and taking advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Some companies like insurance market Lloyd's of London are currently assessing the feasibility of moving a portion of their businesses to new EU subsidiaries.

It could end up hitting government coffers, with a recent survey by the City of London Corporation and accountancy giant PwC showing that financial services accounted for 11.5% of the UK's total tax receipts for the 12 months to March 31 - totalling £71.4 billion.