Investors Say London To Remain Financial Heart Of Europe Post-Brexit

Guy Bentley | Research Associate, Reason Foundation

London will remain the finance capital of Europe despite market turmoils in the wake Brexit.

A poll of institutional investors by FTI Consulting shows substantial confidence that London will retain its status as Europe’s  unrivaled financial hub.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said London wouldn’t lose pride of place despite the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union June 23.

The vote for Brexit was unexpected by commentators, pollsters and betting markets. The British pound crashed to a 30-year low and the FTSE 100 as well as the FTSE 250 took substantial hits.

The pound has since stabilized and the FTSE 100 recovered all the ground it lost and actually rose to its highest point since August 2015. The FTSE 250 returned to where it was a week before the Brexit vote by close of trading Friday. (RELATED: British Stock Markets Bounce Back Just Five Days After Brexit)

Although London retains the confidence of investors, the FTI research suggests there are big stumbling blocks ahead for the wider U.K. economy.

More than two-thirds of those polled said Britain will enter a recession, and 98 percent expect negative economic conditions in the near future.

But the judgments on the medium and long-term future of the British economy are more positive, with 64 percent of respondents expecting better conditions in five or more years post-Brexit.

“The results announced today indicate grave concerns regarding Brexit’s implications for the UK and EU economies in particular,” said Edward J. Reilly, chief executive officer of the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting, in a press release.

“This will be a continually evolving process, with many uncertainties and complexities that have wide-spread impact on capital markets activity, corporate business decisions and the political discourse across numerous jurisdictions. We are counselling our clients to remain engaged, stay updated on the current state of play and to be nimble in adjusting to changing market forces.”

Investors aren’t just worried about the U.K. after Brexit, the Eurozone economies are looking fragile after the referendum.

“Respondents indicated they see France as most likely to face immediate financial fallout, with 71 percent stating that the French economy will be harmed by Brexit,” said Dan Healy, managing director and head of the UK Strategy Consulting & Research practice at FTI Consulting. (RELATED: New Survey Shows Brexit Has Zero Effect On Confidence In US Economy)

“That result tracks closely with the overall sentiment towards the Eurozone economy, with 78 percent of investors surveyed expecting a broader economic downturn across Western Europe. On the other hand, only four percent expect Brexit to harm North American economies.”

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