USB: London future in doubt
Sun, 06 Mar 2011 18:22:33 GMT
The chief executive of Switzerland's UBS bank Oswald Grubel says the United Kingdom threatens to undermine London's position as the leading financial center.
"The government is so quiet about [the future of London as the world's financial center]. Only behind closed doors do they pay lip service to wanting to keep the city. If it is abandoned by the government one day, God help you," the Financial Times quoted Grubel as saying on Tuesday.
In an open critique of the United Kingdom's government, Grubel said financial institutions need to be clear on the UK Coalition's approach to London in order to invest.
"Companies like us, who have 7,000 people in the City, have to make commitments, not from today to tomorrow, we have to make 15-year lease commitments. We would like to know where the City is going in the next few years," he said.
In contrast to the United States, the UK has taken on a tough regulatory approach to banking following the global economic crisis, which Grubel argues will make London less attractive to investors.
Britain's largest bank, HSBC, has already threatened to relocate its headquarters out of London over the possibility of new banking regulations set forth by the country's Independent Commission on Banking.
The head of investment banking at HSBC said last September that other banking giants like Barclay's and Standard Chartered have felt threatened by new regulatory measures.