Barclays boss Jes Staley: Brexit impact won't be noticed - but competition from the US might

 
Catherine Neilan
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Barclays' chief executive Jes Staley has said any negative impact of Brexit will be so short-term it will be overshadowed by London's longer-term staying power.

Speaking at an event in Kings College yesterday, the banking boss said the opportunities available, such as cutting Brussels bureaucracy, would help make the UK a more competitive place to do business after leaving the EU.

"The question is, down the road - 10, 20 years from now - will the flexibility of managing a modern economy, having the power centre in the UK and in London for the British economy, will that then become a competitive advantage?" he asked.

Staley, who has long been optimistic about the overall impact of Brexit, acknowledged there was "reason to believe that for some period of time, the GDP of the UK will probably grow at a slower rate than it might otherwise have grown save for Brexit".

But he added "it's going to be incremental and so it won't make the headlines".

He noted that the bigger concern was keeping up with the US, where deregulation and tax cuts were making New York a stronger rival.

"In some ways bigger than Brexit is the decision of the US government to drop tax rates down to 20 per cent," he said. "There's been a pullback on some of the regulatory intensity in the US and we feel that as well."

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