Banks in Britain will Begin Continental Switch

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Banks in Britain will Begin Continental Switch
A river ferry passes in front of the Canary Wharf business district at dusk in London, Britain December 11, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Banks in Britain will Begin Continental Switch

LONDON (Reuters) – Banks in Britain will begin shifting some operations to continental Europe “reasonably” soon to avoid disrupting links with customers, Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley said on Wednesday.

Staley said it would be hard to get full clarity on Britain’s new trading terms in the time banks need to guarantee links to continental customers after Britain leaves the EU in 2019.

Banks in Britain will Begin Continental Switch
A river ferry passes in front of the Canary Wharf business district at dusk in London, Britain December 11, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

“You will start to see movement in a reasonably short period of time,” Staley told a conference.

Obtaining a licence to trade on the continent and changing financial contracts to another jurisdiction takes a year to 18 months, Staley said.

Speaking at the same conference, HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint said it would be better for Britain to get a good deal on new EU trading terms in a short time than an excellent deal sometime in the future when banks have already triggered their contingency plans to shift operations from London to the continent.

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