Belfast Telegraph

'Government ready to help City maximise Brexit opportunities', says Chancellor

The UK will "maximise" the opportunities for the City to benefit from Brexit, Chancellor Philip Hammond said as he acknowledged the financial sector's concerns about access to the European single market.

The Chancellor met City grandees to discuss how to use his first mini-Budget to boost the economy amid the backdrop of Brexit.

Ahead of the Autumn Statement, Mr Hammond met leading members of the European Financial Services Chairmen's Advisory Committee, including chairman and Santander UK boss Baroness Vadera - a former Labour Treasury minister.

The advisory committee was set up to analyse how Britain's financial services sector can deal with the economic fallout of the shock vote to leave the European Union.

Following the talks, Mr Hammond said: " I understand the scale of the potential impact leaving the EU could have for parts of the financial services industry.

"That is why I am determined to listen to what the industry has to say on key issues, like access to the single market.

"We want the best deal for trade in UK goods and services, including our world leading financial services industry.

"Financial services are one of Britain's great success stories - its exports account for over 12% of the UK total; it employs over one million people, two-thirds of whom work outside of London and the South East; and contributes over £60 billion in tax each year to help fund public services.

"It is important Britain maintains its status as a great place for financial services and that is why the government stands ready to help the sector maximise the opportunities that leaving the EU presents."

The Chancellor will hold a series of bilateral and group discussions with domestic and international firms ahead of a further roundtable with representatives from financial services firms in October.

On September 12 Mr Hammond will meet major importers and exporters to hear their concerns about the Brexit process.

As well as Lady Vadera, the meeting was attended by City bosses including Morgan Stanley's Robert Rooney, London Stock Exchange boss Xavier Rolet, Barclays chairman John McFarlane and HSBC's Douglas Flint.

In a statement, the advisory committee said : "We were very pleased that senior representatives of the financial services industry have been given this opportunity to exchange early views with the Chancellor, and appreciated the openness of the discussions.

"Ensuring UK-based financial institutions have continued ability to support the needs of businesses and individuals and to add value to the economy as a global financial centre, is in all our mutual interests.

"We are committed to supporting government in delivering a successful outcome from the negotiations."