City representatives at civil war over how to respond to Brexit vote

Jake Cordell
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Financiers are split over how the City should respond to Brexit
Financiers are split over how the City should respond to Brexit (Source: Getty)

Lobby groups tasked with promoting London's financial services have fallen into a bitter civil war over how the industry should respond to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Taking aim at rival organisations, the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) yesterday attacked both the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and TheCityUK for not “stepping up to the plate” after the 23 June vote and, saying they had left a “complete leadership vacuum” at this crucial time for the sector.

CISI said discontent was so rife that serious players were gearing up to launch a breakaway group, City United, to represent their interests in the media and at the highest levels of government.

“The financial services sector urgently needs an articulate, communicative leader,” said Simon Culhane, CISI chief executive.

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“Instead there has been almost total silence and zero direction or reassurance,” Culhane added, stressing the lack of a “loud, visible champion” was "affecting competitiveness and threatening jobs”.

CISI called on representatives to urgently put themselves forward to hit the airwaves, make the case for the industry and set out the City's priorities for the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

Both TheCityUK and the BBA declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the City of London Corporation was also plunged into its own scrap over how it should deal with the Brexit fallout.

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Alex Deane, a member of the Corporation, told City A.M.: "The current situation is a golden opportunity for the City of London Corporation to show leadership and find a new, positive role”. Deane said the Corporation’s top brass were "wallowing in pessimistic corporate frustration about a decision that's already been taken".

A City of London Corporation source said: "We accept completely the will of the people. We will continue to monitor carefully what City businesses are thinking and doing. We are absolutely determined in this new situation to do do everything we can to ensure London remains a very attractive place to business."

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