Top City bosses to take questions from MPs on Brexit tomorrow

Hayley Kirton
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Douglas Flint, global chairman of HSBC, will face MPs on Brexit tomorrow (Source: Getty)

Some of the City's better-known names will face questions from MPs on Brexit tomorrow.

Group chairman of HSBC Douglas Flint, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Xavier Rolet and vice chair of Allianz Global Investors Elizabeth Corley are scheduled to give evidence on the UK's future economic relationship with the European Union to the influential Treasury Select Committee at 10am tomorrow.

A number of voices in the City have warned June's vote in favour of leaving the EU will mean disruption for the financial sector.

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In particular, there has been much concern over the UK's ability to secure passporting rights as part of the Brexit deal and whether there will be a substantial enough transition period to allow firms to revamp their business models as needed at a comfortable pace, rather than being pushed to make snap decisions based on limited information.

HSBC itself warned as early as last February that it could be forced to move up to 1,000 investment banking jobs out of the UK to Paris in the event of Brexit, depending on the fate of passporting rights.

Meanwhile, in an interview with City A.M. last April, Rolet said the impact of a vote for Brexit would be "substantial, and almost immediate" and, as far as the City of London was concerned, "far worse than not good".

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Although the Committee has not revealed precisely what it will be asking the City top dogs, some reports have speculated they will face a grilling on whether they over-egged the impact of Brexit on the financial services sector.

Such a line of questioning would not be unprecedented. Just a few weeks after the Brexit vote, Bank of England governor Mark Carney came under fire in a hearing with the Committee, with the MPs slamming him for being too political with his pre-vote warnings.

However, Carney fought back, noting the Bank of England was obligated to highlight areas it thought posed a risk to the country's financial future.

Meanwhile, when facing questions from the House of Lords today on what plans exactly the government will reveal to parliament on Brexit, Lord Bridges of Headley, parliamentary under secretary of state for the Brexit department, enforced the need for a deal that was mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

"Our EU [counterparties] would see that a smooth, orderly and timely Brexit is as much in their interest as it is in ours," he said.

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