‘Wall Street lenders planning UK exit strategy’

Business Times

NEW YORK: Some Wall Street banks are drawing up preliminary plans that include moving some of their London-based operations to Ireland to deal with the possible scenario of Britain leaving the European Union (EU), the Financial Times (FT) reported.

Citigroup Inc, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp (BoA) are considering Ireland as an alternative location for some of their European activities if they need to move them out of the United Kingdom, according to people familiar with the banks, according to the FT report.

The FT reported that the plans were at a very early stage.

A spokesman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the article.

Representatives of BoA and Citigroup could not be reached for comment outside regular working hours.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to conduct a referendum on a renegotiated EU membership if the Conservative party is re-elected next year.

This possibility has raised fears that the world’s sixth-largest economy could quit the club it joined in 1973.

The situation worries many in the City of London, the financial centre that accounts for roughly one-tenth of the British economy. Reuters