Brexit: Top Goldman Sachs banker pushes Government to commit to urgent transitional deal

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The most senior person at outside of the US is heaping pressure on the Government to agree to a “significant” transitional deal as soon as possible.

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, Richard Gnodde, chief executive of Goldman Sachs International, said that every single day he was preparing for the uncertainty resulting from the UK’s decision last year to quit the EU.

He said he was spending money on contingency plans, and that a transition deal was urgently needed to stop the bank from having to move jobs away from London – likely to Frankfurt and Paris – in anticipation of a cliff-edge scenario.

Goldman Sachs employs around 6,500 people in London and the bank’s boss, Lloyd Blankfein, has already issued scathing warnings around the effects of Brexit, not just for his own bank, but for the whole industry.

in May, Mr Blankfein said that both sides of negotiations were playing for very high economic stakes and that if no transitional deal implemented soon, banks like Goldman Sachs would have to act “prematurely”.

Earlier this week, were understood to have chosen Frankfurt as the site of their post-Brexit EU hubs, possibly moving hundreds of jobs there.

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Standard Chartered, Nomura, Sumitomo Mitsui and Daiwa Securities have also committed to moving parts of their business to the German city. Deutsche Bank has also said that it would move large parts of its London operations to its home town.

On Thursday, Mr Gnodde told the BBC that London would remain a “very, very significant financial centre” and his company would retain a large presence there regardless of how Brexit negotiations turn out.

But he also said that the bank’s top priority was to be able to service its clients, whatever the outcome of negotiation, after March 2019.

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“We have offices in many European cities right now, we have offices in Paris and Frankfurt and Stockholm and Madrid and Milan, we have banks in Paris and Frankfurt. So we have a broad footprint. We will obviously work to bulk that up somewhat,” he told the broadcaster.

“London is going to remain a very, very significant financial centre whatever the outcome of the discussions. We will remain a very significant presence in London. But if the rules require us to have more on the Continent, we will have more on the Continent,” he said. 

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