BRITAIN needs to take back from Brussels control of financial services, and should challenge the EU over restrictive employment law and red tape, Shore Capital boss Howard Shore told City A.M. yesterday.
The investment banking boss’ intervention challenges the perception that City leaders are opposed to the Prime Minister’s promise to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Brussels, and then to hold a referendum.
“We need to keep the EU out of affairs that only affect the UK. We don’t dictate policy on cars or perfume or wine or luxury goods, so we need to make sure we’re in control of the destiny of our financial services industry,” the executive chairman said.
“If I was renegotiating, I’d make that a red line, absolutely. It would be one of many aims on my list.” Shore was speaking as the firm unveiled a strong set of financial results for 2014.
Revenues increased 13.4 per cent to £40.58m, while pre-tax profits rose 53.6 per cent to £8.31m.
A big gain came from the equity capital markets business.
Its deals last year included seven initial public offerings and 10 secondary fundraisings, boosting its pre-tax profits by more than 60 per cent to £9.8m.
Into 2015, Shore Capital expects to realise a gain of around £5.4m on the sale of German telecoms spectrum licences, and has also expanded its German real estate business.
“Real estate is doing very well in northern Europe, in the strong economies – it has benefited from low interest rates,” said Shore.