Brexit is 'much ado about nothing': Unicredit CEO
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[November 30, 2017]
By Lawrence White and Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's exit from the
European Union will not have a major impact on European Banks or
London's status as a major financial center, the chief executive of
Italian bank Unicredit <CRDI.MI> said on Thursday.
"Brexit is much ado about nothing,' Jean Pierre Mustier told a Financial
Mustier said regulators and authorities are likely to find practical
solutions to the problems posed by Britain's exit from the bloc, meaning
there would be no 'big revolution' in the continent's banking landscape.
"Let's just be calm," Mustier said.
Britain's pending exit from the European Union and consequent possible
loss of access to the bloc's markets has prompted a debate among
lawmakers and bankers as to whether banks will move business from
Britain to the continent.
Around 10,000 jobs are likely to move from Britain to Europe in the
first wave if a deal maintaining access to Europe's markets is not
found, the Bank of England has said.
An official for the European Central Bank cautioned that Brexit could
damage Britain's reputation as a stable, sound center for global
Pentti Hakkarainen, a member of the European Central Bank's supervisory
board on banking supervision, said the ECB was in close contact with UK
regulators about licensing new euro zone hubs for banks in London
looking for an EU base after Brexit.
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Unicredit bank CEO Jean Pierre Mustier poses during the shareholders
meeting in Rome, Italy, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File
With only 2 percent of loans to euro zone households coming from Britain, the
impact of Brexit looked "absorbable", he told the conference.
However, he said that Britain's long-standing reputation for having a
predictable legal framework could be viewed by international firms to be
deteriorating since Brexit.
"This is perhaps a long term issue and with consequences for the future,"
Clare Woodman, global chief operating officer for institutional securities at
Morgan Stanley <MS.N>, also sounded a note of caution about the impact of Brexit
on European banking, saying that clients were concerned.
Having hundreds of banks "repapering" or moving accounts from London to new EU
hubs at the same time was a worry for them, she added.
(Editing by Adrian Croft)
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