ICAP chief executive Michael Spencer said yesterday the broker could be ready to trade in drachmas within days and predicted other nations could follow Greece out of the euro.
Spencer said Icap – which posted a small drop in annual profits – is “hypothetically” ready for a return to the drachma “next week” if Greece finally leaves the Eurozone.
“I don’t it will happen next week but I think it will happen. Inclusion of Greece in the euro project was a profound error and… there are other countries that will need to be shed.
“Greek exit is inevitable and I believe it will be a good thing for Greece in the long-run.”
Icap, which works in the bond, foreign exchange and swaps market, posted a seven per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £217m for the year to 31 March and net profit fell 27 per cent to £137m, although it posted a four per cent rise in operating profit at its electronic business to a record £127m.
Total revenue fell three per cent to £1.68bn, as trading levels were down across the group, with credit and rates hardest hit, but operating costs were reduced by four per cent to £1.31bn.
Icap has joined rivals, such as Tullett Prebon, by cutting costs. It made £20m of savings over the year, through cutting jobs, overheads and IT, and will cut a further £50m by the end of March 2014 through savings mainly in procurement and IT.
The workforce increased by 200 to 5,100 in the year to 31 March.