Britain's biggest banks are preparing to move out of the UK amid growing fears over the ramifications of leaving the European Union, a top banking boss has warned.
The head of the British Bankers' Association, Anthony Browne, was quoted in The Observer as saying that "many smaller banks" are planning to move their operations overseas before Christmas. Larger institutions, he said, are expected to follow within the first few months of 2017. "Their hands are quivering over the relocate button," he said.
"Banking is probably more affected by Brexit than any other sector of the economy, both in the degree of impact and the scale of the implications," he said.
The BBC believes that what Browne is doing is upping the ante on the government, by saying some banks will start to relocate in the coming months without passporting.
What he also says though is that erecting any barriers to cross-border banking will be just as bad for Europe as it would be for the UK, the BBC reported.
Two days ago Browne also said that the French ambassador to the UK was stepping up his nation's charm offensive to woo the City's giants.
The Sun quoted him as saying there was growing evidence that France was making a concerted lobbying effort to capitalise on the uncertainty caused by Brexit.
The former journalist, adviser to Boris Johnson and Morgan Stanley lobbyist, also revealed that government-backed "delegations from Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin and Madrid are all coming to the UK to pitch to bankers."