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RBS chief reveals EU is dragging out Brexit talks to exploit British ‘financial exodus’

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THE head of the RBS has warned that Europe has “no incentive” to move onto a transitional deal because they will gain in a financial exodus from London following a no deal scenario. Howard Davies, who leads the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, said

that the EU was deliberately dragging out Brexit talks to entice anxious bankers. The banking chief warned that a Brexit transition deal needs to be in place by early next

year – or else, the country faces an unprecedented loss of businesses. Mr Davis told Niall Paterson on Sky News that Brexit would inevitably cost Britain but that a deal

by March was needed to stop a complete wipe-out of financial-services jobs. When asked whether the government recognises banks are beginning to suffer, the RBS chief said: “I hope so, because we keep telling them.” He said: “If there are no

 

details by the first quarter of next year, the number of moves of people out of London will accelerate. “If nothing is certain by then, I think people will trigger those contingency plans.” RBS is already setting up a subsidiary in Amsterdam where a

small number of employees will move. However, Mr Davies said a wider re-balancing of financial activity would take place in Europe, with the UK likely to lose its status as a capital for commerce and banking. London has been a key financial hub on the

continent, undertaking activities such as euro-denominated clearing. However, there are fears that the city will lose around 10,000 banking jobs and 20,000 positions in financial services, with £2trillion of assets moved out of the country. Mr Davies said that the EU was not rushing through the Brexit talks because they can gain from these UK losses. Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dublin have been vying to replace London as the centre of banking in Europe. Europe is hoping that the more the negotiations are dragged out the more businesses will move to cities across the region. The lead banker said: “They have no incentive to get on with this and that’s the real problem. “Certainly time has been wasted up until now in negotiations, which haven’t really got anywhere. “The damage is going to be quite considerable over time.”