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Brexit poll will affect economy, says banking giant


Lord Norman Blackwell

Lord Norman Blackwell

Lord Norman Blackwell

Lloyds Banking Group has waded into the debate over the UK's referendum on Europe, warning that Brexit was likely to cause "economic uncertainty" in the short-term.

The banking giant said a vote for Britain to exit the EU would be "potentially volatile", but it was unclear how it would impact the UK economy in the long-term.

It added: "The board is mindful that the future of the UK's relationship with the EU is a matter for the UK electorate, and that for many the debate is about more than just economics."

The high street lender was asked about its stance on Britain's membership of the EU in February when it announced its annual results, but said the board would take time to discuss the issue before revealing its view.

Lloyds chairman, Lord Norman Blackwell, expressed his personal views on the issue in October last year when he said Britain's membership of the EU was not sustainable without "significant change".

But the Conservative peer said the UK was "likely to remain an attractive global location" whatever the outcome of the EU referendum on June 23.

He said: "I don't agree that remaining in the EU without a significant change in the current arrangements is ultimately sustainable from a political and constitutional perspective."

He added: "We are not and never will be part of the eurozone, so the reality is that we cannot be at the heart of a European Union that becomes increasingly focused on the governance and political decision-making of an integrated eurozone core."

Lloyds is the first bank to reveal its official stance on the EU referendum vote.

But, Barclays boss Jes Staley, RBS chief Ross McEwan and HSBC chief executive and chairman Stuart Gulliver and Douglas Flint have said they would like Britain to remain in the EU when speaking in a personal capacity.

Belfast Telegraph