With the countdown to Brexit fast approaching, it’s alarming that many private bankers at the recent Private Banking and Wealth Management London 2018 conference were reluctant to have a view on the UK government’s management of the Brexit process.
Calling the Tory government’s handling of Brexit ‘management’ is much too generous. Because Brexit is being handled shambolically by the Conservatives.
It’s the private banks and wealth managers – not to mention the rest of the economy and ordinary people –that will suffer if the UK crashes out with no deal and banks lose passporting rights.
When the milk is spilt, it will be too late for the private banking sector to cry.
So, that’s why it is imperative that private banks and wealth managers lobby hard to ensure the sector, financial services and the UK gets the softest Brexit deal possible for the benefit of the economy.
To add to the irony, the Guardian newspaper has reported that London-based Somerset Capital Management (SCM) –co-founded by the influential Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg –has reportedly set up an investment fund in Ireland.
SCM is said to be warning prospective clients about the financial dangers of the sort of hard Brexit favoured by the Tory MP.
Talk about a comedy of Eires!
Staying on the theme of Brexit, London will still be a key financial centre – as Brexit unfolds – delegates at the recent Private Banking and Wealth Management London 2018 conference heard.
Speaking to a packed audience of approximately 200 people on 7 June at The Waldorf Hilton hotel in London, Paul Kearney, managing director at Kleinwort Hambros, said: “Our colleagues in rival EU bases said they see London as a location favoured by the UHNW client base. Of our European colleagues, the only country which didn’t see London as competition was Switzerland.”
However, Kearney warned: “Brexit vote has had an impact of anti-European sentiment and isolationism.”
Kearney added: “As a consequence of that they thought London was possibly losing its image as a stable jurisdiction and itself was creating heightened geopolitical risk.”