Brexit: May to meet UK financial services chiefs

The Prime Minister is set to meet with business leaders from the UK's financial services industry as the government attempts to secure a Brexit deal that will include the sector.

Theresa May will talk with Barclays' chief Jes Staley and Goldman Sachs International boss Richard Gnodde among others on Thursday.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond will also attend after travelling to Berlin.

He described financial services as pivotal to a "bespoke" trade deal.

In a joint-article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Wednesday, Mr Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis said that "the economic partnership should cover the length and breadth of our economies including the service industries — and financial services".

They said: "We should use the imagination and ingenuity that our two countries and the EU have shown in the past, to craft a bespoke solution."

Bloomberg reports that Germany is considering a plan that would give UK financial services companies access to Europe in exchange for payments to the EU budget.

Asked in Berlin if the UK would pay in exchange for bank access, Mr Hammond said: "We will talk about all of these things."

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Senior executives from the London Stock Exchange will attend the regular meeting at 10 Downing Street along with Mark Tucker, chief executive of insurance group Aviva.

Paul Manduca, chairman of insurer Prudential will also take part where he will also appear in his capacity as chairman of the advisory council of TheCityUK, the lobby group for the financial services sector.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, has said that there will not be a special deal with the UK financial services.

He told The Guardian: "There is no place it. There is not a single trade agreement that is open to financial services. It doesn't exist."

Mr Davis has described the UK's preferred deal with Europe as "Canada plus, plus, plus" – a reference to Canada's low-tariff free trade deal with the EU but with services included as well as goods.

UK-based banks and financial companies are concerned they will lose passporting rights that allow them to trade freely in the EU after Brexit.

If so, firms are likely to move jobs out of London and into the continent.

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