Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and other top investment banks just pledged to help London keep its finance crown

LONDON (Reuters) and (BI) – Major investment banks including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan said they would work to help London remain a top center for international finance, in a joint statement on Thursday with British finance minister George Osborne.

“Britain’s decision to leave the EU clearly presents economic challenges which we are determined to work together to meet,” the statement said.

“Today we met and agreed that we would work together to build on all this with a common aim to help London retain its position as the leading international financial center.”

Senior executives from Standard Chartered, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan met Osborne and signed the statement.

There have been concerns that, following the shock Brexit vote last month, the UK could lose it “passporting” rights for the European Union, which allow banks to operate across the EU using a single UK-based licence.

This is not set in stone, however, and the statement points out that the UK has other benefits, such as: “one of the most stable legal systems in the world, a brilliant workforce and deep, liquid capital markets unmatched anywhere else in Europe, all of which are underpinned by world class regulators.”

The statement from the Chancellor and investment banks is the second joint statement issued by the Treasury and banks this week. Earlier this week representatives of the “Big Four” – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and Royal Bank of Scotland – and a selection of challenger banks and smaller lenders signed a joint statement pledging to lend more despite Brexit.

While JPMorgan is one of the banks to sign up to help keep London a financial hub, the US investment bank has repeatedly warned that it may have to move jobs out of the UK. CEO Jamie Dimon told an Italian newspaper this week: “The worst-case scenario is we would have to move some thousands of employees to other branches in the euro zone.”

Here’s the full statement from the Treasury and investment banks:

“Britain’s decision to leave the EU clearly presents economic challenges which we are determined to work together to meet.

“We will also work together to identify the new opportunities that may now become available so that Britain remains one of the most attractive places in the world to do business.

“One of Britain’s key economic strengths is that it is a world leading financial centre.

“It has one of the most stable legal systems in the world, a brilliant workforce and deep, liquid capital markets unmatched anywhere else in Europe, all of which are underpinned by world class regulators.

“In recent years it has established itself as a global hub for renminbi, rupee, Islamic finance and green finance, as well as leading in new markets such as FinTech.

“Today we met and agreed that we would work together to build on all this with a common aim to help London retain its position as the leading international financial centre.”

(Reporting by Reuters’ David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce)