JP Morgan Warns UK of Exit

Increasing skepticism within Britain about maintaining the nation’s current status within the European Union may create more economic problems than already exist. The financial powerhouse JPMorgan states that Britain’s power base in transatlantic trade as well as its ability to resolve regulatory disputes may crumble if it reduces its commitment to the EU.

JPMogan recently issued a statement to the UK Treasury claiming that Britain will be more successful negotiating cross-border rules and regulations if it remains part of the EU. In the statement, Daniel Pinto, the co-chief executive of JPMorgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank within Europe, stressed the difficulties of implementing rules across the globe that were coherent without the cooperation and coordination provided by membership agreements in place between partners in the EU.

He urged the UK to consider the value of resolving cross-jurisdictional disputes by maintaining membership within the EU. Bilateral discussions, he indicated, make it more difficult to receive a sensible outcome. JPMorgan is a major player within the financial services sector in the UK. It is one of the largest foreign financial services in the UK and employs 17,000 people within the country. In Bournemouth, one of its nine locations, it operates a back-office centre and is the largest private sector employer.

Senior City professionals have already been alarmed as it awaits the results of David Cameron’s pledged referendum on the UK’s EU membership. Senior executives of major corporations with offices and headquarters in the UK have indicated they may relocate if Britain exited the 28 member European Union. The submission by JPMorgan Bank has heightened those concerns.

Until the Treasury called for submissions for a review of repatriation of power from Brussels, most major City institutions maintained a low profile on the EU debate. JPMorgan was joined by Citigroup and lobbyists from the British Bankers’ Association with responses after the request by the government was made. Mr. Pinto stated that the UK “acts as a gateway to Europe for many financial institutions and corporates from around the world” and made the case that membership in the EU and growth within economic sector are clearly linked.

In a separate submission, the Corporation of London and TheCityUK, spoke of London’s position as the centre of euro-dominated markets. Should Britain terminate its membership within the EU, they warned that this position would be imperiled and the consequences dire.

Backing up JPMorgan’s position, the statement from the Corporation of London and TheCityUK went on to state that the UK was filling an essential role in building a single market within the financial services sector and opening international capital markets. Instead of Britain exiting the EU, the statement included suggestions for improvements within the process for the creation of European legislation. They urges a stronger consultation process as well as more complete assessments of the impact of legislation.

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