The UK’s ability to attract talent has already taken a hit because of Brexit, the chief executive of one of the country’s biggest banks has said.

Standard Chartered boss, Bill Winters, told the BBC in an interview that his bank is “preparing for the worst” and that plans by some lenders – like his own – to turn branches in European cities into official subsidiaries, was “inconvenient and expensive”.

“London will take hits in the context of Brexit… I think big parts of the euro-denominated corporate banking business will be forced into Europe,” Mr Winters told the broadcaster.

“It’s possible that through the Brexit negotiations that there is some sort of extended passporting rule but none of us are expecting that quite frankly, or preparing for that,” he added.

Passporting refers to banks’ ability to sell their services across Europe from a UK base.

“We have to prepare for the worst… let’s hope for the best, but we’re prepared for the worst,” the CEO said.

He said that Standard Charter’s ability to attract top talent was already being curtailed as a result of the June 2016 referendum outcome – for example through the restriction on student visas.

“Some of the best talent that we can have in the UK marketplace is coming from students that have chosen to study here and then stayed for some extended period afterwards… We’ve noticed that’s been impacted already,” Mr Winters said.

“More through a sense from non-UK [people] that this might not be such a hospitable place any longer – it’s more psychological than contractual.”

Bosses of many of the world’s largest banks have issued repeated warnings about the possible impact of Brexit.

Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein, has repeatedly taken to Twitter to comment on the UK’s departure from the EU. Last month he tweeted of a “tough and risky road ahead” in light of Brexit.

Many of the big banks have already committed to relocation some staff out of London and to the European continent to ensure that they can continue servicing all clients seamlessly after Brexit.

 

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