From a corner conference room overlooking the Thames, Michael Sherwood, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, has the guts to voice publicly what many in London’s centuries-old financial district are increasingly worried about behind closed doors: that threats to Britain’s membership in the European Union are threats to British business.
Bloomberg reports that over the past 15 years, Goldman, like many of the other 250 foreign-owned banks in the City, has consolidated its European operations in London to take advantage of the EU’s $16.6tril–a-year single market, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its May issue.
Wide-open access to that market is now in doubt because of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise to hold a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017.
If Britain votes to quit the EU, Sherwood says, parts of London’s banking business would inevitably drift to Frankfurt and Paris.
'We want the U.K. to stay in Europe', the 48-year-old banker says. 'The U.K. leaving the EU would lead to some sort of fragmentation of our business. The City would definitely be impacted'.