Downing Street calls City chiefs in for latest Brexit meeting

Theresa May Takes First PMQs Of 2018
Theresa May will speak to City bosses about the Brexit process (Source: Getty)

Securing a Brexit transitional deal will be high up the agenda for the chief executives of some of the City's biggest firms at a high-level roundtable tomorrow afternoon with Theresa May.

Around a dozen senior figures from firms including Goldman Sachs, Barclays and HSBC are expected to meet the Prime Minister, along with chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit minister Robin Walker, although new City minister John Glen will not attend. Brexit secretary David Davis will also not be there, as he is scheduled for meetings in Munich.

Downing Street confirmed there would be "various CEOs" and "European chiefs of financial institutions who have a presence in the UK", but stressed it was part of the regular series of meetings with the business community to gauge views on Brexit.

Read more: Exclusive: John Glen named new City minister

A source at one of the firms told City A.M. they were hoping to use the meeting to impress the need for early clarity and certainty around the transition period upon the government.

Prominent bank leaders expected to attend the meeting, first reported by Sky News, include Goldman Sachs's top London banker, Richard Gnodde, and HSBC chairman Mark Tucker. A senior banker from JP Morgan and Barclays chief executive Jes Staley have also been invited, City A.M. understands.

Agreeing a transitional deal with the EU to allow financial services firms on both sides of the Channel to continue to serve clients after Brexit in March 2019 is seen by bank bosses as a vital step in protecting the City.

Read more: Barnier: The UK must end Brexit transition period by 31 December 2020

The Bank of England has previously warned that delays to a transitional deal this year will see "diminishing marginal returns", according to deputy governor Sam Woods, who warned banks will need at least a year to apply for licences as part of contingency plans.

The insurance sector will also be represented, with Mark Wilson, chief executive of Aviva, and Paul Manduca, chairman of Prudential and lobby group TheCityUK's advisory committee, also attending. Insurers are generally less dependent on a transition deal to continue serving clients after Brexit.

The Prime Minister's meeting with the City is the first since the EU agreed sufficient progress on the first phase of Brexit talks was declared last month, meaning negotiators can now discuss transition before finally getting to trade, it is hoped, by March.

Read more: The PM is pushing for access to the EU market during the Brexit transition

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