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  • Britain's vote to leave the EU has sent shock waves through financial markets.

  • Joining me here at the FT to discuss what it means for investment banking is Laura Noonan, our investment banking correspondent.

  • So Laura, what does this vote mean for banks in the city of London?

  • Well, I think if you look at the reaction of the banks' share prices, it means only bad things.

  • We've seen some very sharp falls in share price this morning, Deutsche Bank down 15-16%, UK banks down even more, RBS I think was the worst hit, down 34% at the open,

  • so certainly investors are very concerned about this because it does raise a number of issues for the investment banks,

  • many (of) which have large operations here in the UK, particularly in the city of London,

  • and they're gonna have to make some very serious decisions about those operations now because London has been traditionally a base.

  • So the idea is that you come here and you'd access all of the other infrastructure here,

  • you have like legal firms, talent all of that,

  • and then you use London as being the base to passport into the rest of the EU.

  • That only definitely works if you are in the EU.

  • Now it isn't definite that you can't do that through some kind of a bilateral agreement down the line,

  • but there's certainly very significant uncertainty there, and that's (it's) why we're seeing the investment banks really get battered today.

  • So is this, is this the party's over in the city of London now

  • we're gonna see an exodus of jobs, of activity, we're gonna see a shift to places like Paris, Dublin, Frankfurt, is that what's gonna happen?

  • I think that you could confidently say that they are going to be fewer people working for investment banks here in 3, 4, 5 years time than there are now.

  • The big question is in terms of the size of the shift, so yes, the banks are going to have to make alternative arrangements.

  • The banks are trying very hard not to be pinned down on those just now because we literally have only had the news in the last 24 hours.

  • And banks had not prepared for this, everyone thought it was going to be an "in,"

  • so banks hadn't really been seriously contemplating, I mean they had made some level of contingency plans,

  • but as things progressed in the last week or so, banks thought this is actually going to be "in," this is going to be fine,

  • the banks are really hoping that there's gonna be some kind of a solution, which is going to allow them to keep a lot of their workforce here in the UK,

  • and then [outsource] some of them to some of those other cities which you mentioned.

  • And these big share price moves that we've seen, you know, the Wall Street markets are open, the big US banks are down some 8, 6 %, the likes of Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs.

  • But the big European banks are down between 15 and 20%, I mean that's many tens of billions of pounds of value wiped off these big financial institutions,

  • are we talking about a new financial crisis here?

  • Well I think when you look at the performance of the European banks and you're right, the European banks have been very, very severely hit.

  • You would also view in the context of the increase in the share price of the European banks earlier in the weeks.

  • So basically as it began to look as if it was gonna be an "in," we saw fairly significant rises in the European bank share prices, also in the UK bank share prices, also in the Cable rate,

  • so we are seeing an element of just taking back those increases.

  • Okay. And are there any silver linings to this?

  • I mean, there are some cause for hope in that there was a lot of concern going into this on the market side in particular

  • because we've seen so much contraction in the liquidity, banks are actually able to give to the markets because of the various rules brought in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

  • There was a real fear as that in the event of an "out" vote that there could be absolute chaos,

  • that the banks if we didn't have the capacity to absorb the kind of levels of activity, the kind of selling that we were gonna see.

  • Now all the indications from the banks, and it is early days yet, but certainly for the initial 12,14, 16 hours,

  • all the indications are that they have been able to keep their doors open, it has certainly been a fairly fraught time for them,

  • but there aren't any indications of a large-scale breakdown.

  • Laura, thank you very much. -Thank you.

Britain's vote to leave the EU has sent shock waves through financial markets.

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