Jim Cowles, Citi chief executive officer for
Europe, Middle East and Africa, told the Financial Times that
there was "mounting concern" among clients about their ability
to use the United Kingdom as a regional hub if the country exits
"It is not that international companies will stop investing in
Britain, but their investment just will not be at the scale we
have become accustomed to," Cowles told the newspaper.
He added that the existing trade arrangements will be at risk
and Britain will have no influence in making the rules in the
Citigroup is the latest corporation to say it favors Britain
continuing its membership of the 28-member trading bloc after
Prime Minister David Cameron promised voters he would
renegotiate the terms of Britain's EU membership before holding
an in-out referendum by 2017 if his ruling Conservatives were
returned to power after elections due in May 2015.
According to the Financial Times, the British Bankers'
Association has also sent a submission to a Treasury review of
powers between the United Kingdom and Germany. The submission
said that a single market for financial services is a
significant factor in the success of the United Kingdom as a
financial center, and of considerable value to the UK economy.
European aerospace group Airbus <AIR.PA>, one of Britain's
largest employers, on Tuesday had voiced concerns over the
possibility of the country leaving the EU, saying the benefits
of an alternative economic model needed to be proven.
The London-based Centre for European Reform (CER) predicted last
week that Britain would struggle to maintain trade with other EU
member states — now 54 percent of goods trade — if it left the
British finance minister George Osborne recently warned the
European Union that it must reform if it wants Britain to remain
a member, and said it faces decline if it resists change.
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in
Bangalore; editing by Lisa Shumaker)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.