Where is the love? US exchange boss urges UK government to tell him: "You're really important to us"

William Turvill
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The boss of a US exchange giant today called on the UK government to show his firm and others that they are loved and wanted.

Jeffrey Sprecher, chief executive of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), compared silence from the UK in recent months with offers from the governments of France, Germany and the Netherlands to move business to those countries.

He also warned that CME Group’s decision in April to close its London-based derivatives exchange and clearing house could represent a “canary in the coal mine” warning.

Read more: What's cooler than being cool? ICE boss tells UK to get some "swagger"

“What is interesting is that these businesses that we run have been identified by other countries as being important: important to their capital markets, important for job creation,” he said, speaking at the FIA’s IDX derivatives conference in London.

“And to a certain extent the UK has taken our presence here for granted.”

Sprecher added: “I don’t know that the government needs to do anything other than a quiet word to say: ‘You’re really important to us.’ You know, that would be nice to hear.”

He said that ICE, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, and its rivals have presences in London because “the world comes here – the US, Asia, the Middle East, you name it.

We all meet here because of the Queen’s law, the Queen’s courts, the regulation, which is respected, low tax rates – you name it. That portfolio has worked for decades and yet no one has actually publicly suggested that that is going to be the portfolio of the UK going forward.

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