Firms call for clarity over Brexit transition
Firms in the City of London will begin activating their Brexit contingency plans unless the Government provides clarity over a transition period by the end of the year, it has been warned.
The City of London Corporation made the warning in a letter to the Chancellor.
Catherine McGuinness, the corporation's policy and resources chairman, told Philip Hammond it was "critical" financial services firms have "urgent clarity" from the UK and EU on "time-limited, binding transitional arrangements" and the principles that underpin them.
"While businesses will have different cut-off points for activating contingency plans, clarity will be needed by the end of this year," Ms McGuinness wrote.
If delivered in time, the details could allow firms to slow or even scrap their contingency plans.
"For businesses that have begun activating contingency plans, clarity on transition will allow them to decelerate those plans," Ms McGuinness said.
"For others, it may help them avoid taking unnecessary contingency measures entirely.
"The earlier transitional arrangements are agreed, the more value they will have for businesses and their customers."
The letter, written ahead of the Chancellor's Budget on November 22, also included calls to cut tax rates from 17% for corporate treasury centres, which are common among Asian multinationals and operate as in-house banks for their businesses.
The City of London Corporation wants to make rates competitive and "allow London to win more business from Asian rivals" including Singapore, which taxes at 8%.
It was part of a broader call to action on fiscal policy that Ms McGuinness said "must go beyond Brexit considerations".