Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein warns that financial firms could decide on a 'smaller footprint' in London because of the risks from Brexit. Ciara Lee reports.
It's an international investment heavyweight - so when Goldman Sachs talks Brexit, the financial industry listens. CEO Lloyd Blankfein says Britain's progress as a financial hub could stall because of the upheaval. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF GOLDMAN SACHS, LLOYD BLANKFEIN, SAYING: "If you cannot benefit from access to the EU from the UK, and no one knows what those rules and those determinations would be, then the risk is that there will be some adjustment that will cause some people to have a smaller footprint in the UK." Most of the EU's financial markets are currently run out of London. But banks have warned that some of that business and the jobs that come with it may have to move. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF GOLDMAN SACHS, LLOYD BLANKFEIN, SAYING: "Without knowing how things will turn out, we have to plan for a number of contingencies. And our hope is that we don't have to implement anything until we know what it is we have to implement. But if there is no period of time to implement whatever changes are brought about in negotiation, we may have to do things prematurely, and we'll have to do a range of things as a precaution." The head of Goldman's international business warned in March that the bank would begin moving hundreds of people out of London, even before any deal is struck. But some based in the London markets still see the UK capital as a good option for Goldman Sachs. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASPER LAWLER, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, SAYING: "There's a culture here that is very similar to the enterprise driven culture in America. And you know there's just multiple reasons not least the history of expertise in many industries here that make London still the best financial services option for these big international banks. Blankfein said the bank wants to avoid cutting as many jobs as it can. Adding that in 10 years' time, it is likely that London will still be its largest European office.