Posts Tagged ‘London’

Fewer jobs expected to move from London after Brexit

December 13, 2017

FT research shows 6 per cent of staff might move, despite claims of tens of thousands

By  in London
FT — Financial Times

Image result for the city, london, financial district, photos

The UK’s biggest international banks are set to move fewer than 4,600 jobs from London in preparation for Brexit — just 6 per cent of their total workforce in the financial centre — according to Financial Times research.  The FT analysis contrasts with consultants’ original claims that tens of thousands of jobs could move from London after Brexit — including an EY study this week that claimed 10,500 could leave on “day one”.

The FT estimates are based on public statements by 15 of the UK’s biggest international institutions, interviews of more than a dozen senior bank executives about Brexit planning and industry benchmarks. In the case of Deutsche Bank, where Sylvie Matherat, head of regulation, publicly said up to 4,000 jobs could move, the FT estimates that just 350 jobs may leave by April 2019.

The figure amounts to 5 per cent of Deutsche’s London headcount, a proportion broadly in line with other big banks. Some bankers say the lower estimates emerged as they thought through how many jobs and operations would need to move to the EU if the UK loses access to the bloc’s single market.

“Every city wants thousands of people, but what are they going to do?” said one senior executive at a large US institution, adding that the thousands of people sitting in his London office “cover clients” who will mostly be remaining in the UK. Share this graphic At JPMorgan, where chief executive Jamie Dimon warned before the Brexit vote of up to 4,000 London job losses, the number leaving before April 2019 is set to be closer to 700.

Goldman Sachs, which has taken a new office in Frankfurt that could accommodate 1,000 people, expects to move fewer than 500 from London. HSBC is still planning to move “up to 1000 people”, although its chief financial officer recently said the figure could fall.  A few banks still do not know how many staff they will move. BNP Paribas, for example, says it is “too soon to speculate” on the potential reduction in its London workforce.

he UK government says it has made important recent progress on Brexit, highlighting last week’s divorce deal with the EU, which paves the way to negotiations on future ties with the bloc and a transition of about two years under current rules — keenly sought by the City. But Sally Dewar, international head of regulatory affairs at JPMorgan, said her bank’s planning “hasn’t changed to reflect anything that would look like a better [Brexit] outcome”.

A senior executive at another US bank said that a “a watertight transition period that is legally robust” was “the only way we can responsibly stop, or adjust the timing of, the implementation of our plans to ensure post-March 2019 continuation of critical services to our clients, and that needs to happen very quickly”.

Some bankers say the real impact of leaving the EU could still be dramatic. “The story has always been three to five years out, not what does it do to the City the morning after Brexit,” said Rob Rooney, chief executive of Morgan Stanley International.

“If people judge it by the numbers that move ([immediately] afterwards, they will miss the point.” Several banks say they are planning to move relatively few people in the immediate aftermath of Brexit because it will take time for their EU operations to build up.

They expect to have very small balance sheets when the EU entities begin handling client business on April 1, 2019, and to be able to run some of the risk and support functions for those small EU entities from London.

Share this graphic David Davis, Britain’s Brexit secretary, says the UK is aiming at a trade deal that includes financial services. If there is a hard Brexit that impedes financial services providers’ access to Europe, one bank’s Emea chief executive said it was “inevitable” that the flow of business from the UK to the EU “continues and continues and that the ECB when they feel the moment is right will push to have much more market risk to be run onshore”.

“It’s a real game changer . . . it will make this day one seem very small,” he added. “If we move the substance of the trading to the continent, you’re then moving risk management, product controllers, compliance legal heads . . . the numbers race to a completely different place.”  At present, banks are continuing the preparations for a ‘phase one’, the structure they will have in place immediately after Brexit. “We’re already in the process of revamping our governance of legal entities, submitting all of our documents to regulators, identifying senior managers who would have to relocate,” said Ms Dewar.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has already announced the management of its new EU entity in Dublin — to be led by Bruce Thompson, former group chief financial officer, and chaired by Anne Finucane, a senior executive.

Other banks are expected to unveil their EU leadership soon.  While many banks no longer see the first quarter of 2018 as the point of no return, they will accelerate some aspects of preparation. “By the end of [the first quarter of next year] we will start to have to take decisions around informing clients which then becomes more difficult to unravel,” said Ms Dewar.

From around April, banks will begin engaging with clients and “repapering” them to new EU entities where appropriate. Some banks are planning to move existing client positions to new EU entities from the middle of next year.

Bankers stress that how they move business will depend largely on their clients — how they structure their own international operations after Brexit and where they want to do business. Many banks are in the dark on what their clients are planning.

One senior banker said his expectation was that “stuff will go to New York, more will go to the EU, the UK has always been the loser in this, it’s just a matter of how much”.

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Thousands join London protest against Trump’s Jerusalem move

December 9, 2017

Many attendees expressed outrage at Trump’s apparent dismissal of the United Nations position that East Jerusalem belongs to Palestinians and is under illegal Israeli occupation. (Arab News)

LONDON: Thousands of Londoners convened at Grosvenor Square on Friday night protesting Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“This is a unilateral, illegal move and it undermines the rights of my Palestinian people,” said Leanne Mohamad, an activist and student, as crowds behind her bellowed pro-Palestine slogans and waved flags in front of the American Embassy.

Groups of young activists, religious leaders and families turned out to decry Trump’s contentious policy shift, which flouts the international community’s longstanding position that Jerusalem’s status should be determined between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Both sides claim the city as their capital.

“Mr Trump is on one side the entire world is on the other side,” said Habib Jann, a keffiyeh wrapped tightly around his neck. “The world needs peace now.”

As the demonstration was taking place, America’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley appeared before the Security Council and defiantly stood behind President Trump. The US, she said, would “not be lectured” on its policy toward Israel. Contemptuous boos and hisses emerged from the crowd as Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, informed the crowd about Haley’s comments.

“Donald Trump, you will see! Palestine will be free!” they shouted.

Many attendees expressed outrage at Trump’s apparent dismissal of the United Nations position that East Jerusalem belongs to Palestinians and is under illegal Israeli occupation. Trump came under heavy fire from international leaders for the off-piste policy, which will see the US embassy re-located to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. No other country has an embassy in Jerusalem. Even Theresa May, loath to criticize her American counterpart, said that Westminster “disagrees” with the decision, finding it “unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”

“Donald trump seems to be living on a planet where there are only Americans and Israelis” said Ubeyde Bilaloglu at the protest on Wednesday.

“We all have to stand up against him,” agreed Azza Ahmed Zaki, an Egyptian activist.

Zaki and others said they were tired of waiting for the world’s leadership to advance the Palestinian cause. “It’s wrong also from our own Arab leaders who should take a stance, but we don’t see any action from them at all.”

Trump’s decision sparked popular outrage across the world, with protests erupting across the Middle East and beyond. Palestinians took to the streets on Friday in protest, leading violet clashes with Israeli authorities. Hundreds of Palestinians were injured and at least one person was reportedly killed. There were no immediate reports of Israeli casualties.

“I’m kind of afraid for the future of Palestine,” said Mustafa, a young protester in London. “Today they shot a teenager just because (of) what he believed.”

Trump “has blood on his hands” said Hiba Deen at the London protest, visibly moved by the young man’s death.

Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, said that Palestinians would stand firm despite the American President’s announcement. “We are not going to budge one inch from staying in Jerusalem, from fighting for Jerusalem,” he said.

Others agreed, saying they were frustrated but undaunted by America’s diplomatic pivot toward Israel. “No matter what the country is going to say, were still sticking to our message, we’re still sticking to Palestine,” said Farah, who attended the protest with friends. “It’s not just a Palestinian cause — it’s about Arab identity.”


Theresa May’s Chances of Brexit Deal Recede as Allies Play Hard Ball

December 6, 2017


By Emma Ross-Thomas and Dara Doyle

 Updated on 
  • Northern Irish party balks at accord and ministers rebel
  • Brexit secretary says numbers weren’t crunched on trade impact
 Image result for Theresa may, wind blown, photos
May challenged by cabinet disquiet and the Irish border question. Bloomberg’s David Merritt reports.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s chances of getting a Brexit breakthrough this week receded as the Northern Irish ally that props up her government continued to resist a deal amid rumblings of a Cabinet rebellion.

The Democratic Unionist Party thinks it will be challenging to get a deal done this week as it’s demanding significant changes to a text on what the Irish border should look like after Brexit, according to a person familiar with the party’s thinking. That risks pushing May beyond the deadline set by the European Union if it wants divorce talks to move on to trade by year-end.

May’s proposed solution to the impasse — staying close to EU rules after the split — prompted a revolt this week as the highest-profile Brexit-backers, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove, said the clean break they want from Europe could be endangered.

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Michael Gove

The beleaguered prime minister has just three days to come up with proposals that will satisfy the EU. If there’s no deal this month the chances of a messy Brexit increase and hardliners in the U.K. will step up their calls to walk away — what businesses have called a catastrophe scenario.

May and DUP leader Arlene Foster spoke this morning for two hours, a conversation a U.K. official described as constructive. In her first appearance in Parliament since the breakdown of talks on Monday, May expressed confidence that a deal will be done.

‘Good Progress’

“Negotiations are in progress and very good progress has been made in those negotiations,” the premier told lawmakers in Parliament on Wednesday. As European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday, “there are still a couple of things that we are negotiating on and he is confident that we will be able to achieve sufficient progress.”

Lawmakers in May’s Conservative Party who support full separation from the EU attempted to put pressure on the prime minister during her weekly questions session. Peter Bone offered to accompany her to Brussels for the next round of negotiations, Jacob Rees-Mogg asked her if her “red lines” were fading to pink, and Bernard Jenkin urged her to focus on free trade deals beyond Europe. While all were polite, all were reminding May that she faces a revolt if she’s seen to be softening her position.

Thorny Topic

The Irish border is one of the most sensitive issues holding back Brexit talks — for historic, political and economic reasons. The border now is almost invisible as both countries are in Europe’s single market, but the U.K. plans to leave the trading bloc in 2019, taking Northern Ireland with it. That means a border will be needed somewhere — either between Ireland and Northern Ireland or between the enclave and mainland Britain.

“We will ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,” May said. “We will do that while we respect the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom and while we respect the internal market and protect the internal market of the United Kingdom.”

As May tries to stitch together a united front that will allow her to go back to Brussels, Brexit Secretary David Davis was under fire in parliament.

He was accused of changing his lines on the existence of a series of documents on the impact of Brexit on the economy. After weeks of to-ing and fro-ing about the paperwork and whether they should be made public, Davis was accused of backtracking. Davis put the whole saga down to a misunderstanding.

As cabinet intrigue threatened to derail the negotiation process, Davis also offered some insight into how the government made its decisions on Brexit. The decision to leave the customs union — the bloc that frees up trade within the EU and reduces barriers — was taken without a “quantitative” economic assessment, he said.

— With assistance by Alex Morales, Kitty Donaldson, and Robert Hutton

Did Brexit Just Get HARDER? Scotland, Wales and London want special Brexit deal if Northern Ireland gets one

December 4, 2017

By Elisabeth O’LearyDavid Milliken

Top U.N. human rights official condemns “populists” who spreads “hatred through tweets.”

November 30, 2017

GENEVA, Nov 30 (Reuters) – In a thinly veiled reference to U.S. President Donald Trump, the top U.N. human rights official on Thursday condemned “populists” who spread “hatred through tweets.”

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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, made the remarks Thursday.

Britain criticized Trump on Wednesday after he retweeted anti-Islam videos originally posted by a leader of a far-right British fringe party who was convicted this month of abusing a Muslim woman.

“There are the populists — political hooligans who through their incitement — which is the equivalent of hurling racist insults, throwing bottles onto the field, attacking the referee and, as we saw yesterday, spreading hatred through tweets — seek to scramble our order, our laws,” Zeid said in a speech in Geneva on Thursday.

A U.N. official, who declined to be identified, said that Zeid’s remarks were “clearly a reference to Trump tweets but also others using social media in this way.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)




 (The Wall Street Journal)

London mayor urges UK’s May to cancel Trump state visit

November 30, 2017

London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan. (Reuters)

LONDON: The mayor of London has added his voice to calls for President Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain to be canceled over his retweets of a British far-right group.

Sadiq Khan says Trump has promoted “a vile, extremist group” and an official visit by him to Britain “would not be welcomed.”
Trump’s retweeting of anti-Muslim videos from far-right group Britain First has been widely condemned in Britain. Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said the president was wrong to have done it.
In response, Trump urged May to focus on “the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom,” rather than on him.
Downing St. and the White House both say a state visit by Trump is planned, but no date has been set.

Uber’s messy data breach collides with launch of SoftBank deal

November 23, 2017


Above, a traveler tries to book a ride with Uber at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Uber was first hacked in October 2016 and discovered the data breach the following month. (AP)

TORONTO/SAN FRANCISCO: A newspaper advertisement for an Uber Technologies stock sale was juxtaposed on Wednesday with a report that the ride-service provider had covered up a data hack — something of a metaphor for Uber, a company with boundless investor interest, but whose penchant for rule-breaking has led to a series of scandals.

The stock sale advertised in the New York Times will enable Uber investors to sell their shares to Japanese investor SoftBank, a critical deal for the company whose problems included building software to spy on competitors and to evade regulators and being investigated in Asia for paying bribes.

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Uber on Tuesday said that it had paid hackers $100,000 (SR375,000) to destroy data on more than 57 million customers and drivers that was stolen from the company — and decided under the previous CEO Travis Kalanick not to report the matter to victims or authorities. Uber was first hacked in October 2016 and discovered the data breach the following month.

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the helm in August with the mission of turning around the company and overhauling its culture, acknowledged in a blog that Uber had erred in its handling of the breach.

The timing of the disclosure could hardly have been worse.

The company is trying to complete a deal with SoftBank Group Corp. in which the Japanese firm would invest as much as $10 billion for at least 14 percent of the company, mostly by buying out existing shareholders. SoftBank is advertising to find shareholders who want to sell.

Uber last month announced a preliminary deal for the SoftBank investment.

One question is whether SoftBank will now try to alter the price of the deal. One source familiar with the matter said SoftBank is planning to stick to its agreement to invest in Uber but may seek better terms. SoftBank has not yet made a final decision on whether to renegotiate, the source said.

Another question is the future of Kalanick, the co-founder who led Uber to becoming a global powerhouse but did so with aggressive and controversial tactics. He was forced out by investors in June who feared his leadership style would damage the company, although he stayed on the board and remains a significant shareholder.

A bitter battle among investors over how to resolve Uber’s problems led to a lawsuit by early investor Benchmark, which sought to oust Kalanick from any role. But a settlement was reached earlier this month to pave the way for the SoftBank deal, with Kalanick retaining his board seat and other rights.

Kalanick was made aware of the hack last November and was aware of the $100,000 payment, according to a person close to the matter. Kalanick has declined to comment. Uber did not respond to questions from Reuters on Wednesday.

The scope of the repercussions Uber will face for the October 2016 data breach began to take shape Wednesday with governments around the world opening investigations.

Authorities in Britain, Australia and the Philippines said they would investigate Uber’s response to the data breach. London’s transport regulator, which has been in discussions with Uber after stripping it of its license to operate, said it was pressing Uber for details.


Post-Brexit London will remain European finance hub: Bloomberg

October 24, 2017


© AFP | London Mayor Sadiq Khan, US billionaire Michael Bloomberg and architect Norman Foster pose together at the launch of Bloomberg’s new European headquarters in the City of London.

LONDON (AFP) – London “will continue to be the financial centre of Europe” even after Brexit, US billionaire Michael Bloomberg told AFP on Tuesday, as he unveiled his company’s new European headquarters in the City.

“Paris will do well because some people will move to Paris and develop there — same thing with Frankfurt and Amsterdam and other cities”, said New York’s former mayor.

“London will not do as well as they would have if they had stayed in the EU,” he conceded, but insisted Brexit would not “destroy” the city.

The capital will reap the benefits of its scale and English language, as well as its transport and communications systems, Bloomberg highlighted.

His reassurances comes at a time when Britain’s finance sector is anxious about losing the rights which allow large international banks to trade throughout the EU whilst being based in Britain.

The financial information company’s new European headquarters, designed by British architect Norman Foster, will welcome some 4,000 existing London employees into a single site at the heart of the City.

Built on top of of an ancient Roman temple renovated by the company during a decade of works, its two buildings stretch over seven levels.

Works of art, a giant spiral staircase and aquariums will all make the workplace “more exciting and more stimulating”, according to the company’s founder.

The site “has the highest rating in terms of sustainability, conservation of energy, recycling”, Foster told AFP.

“The ceiling, the facades, the floors… and the things you don’t see, all contribute to making this the greenest building of its kind,” he said.

Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law arrested in connection with corruption cases

October 9, 2017


Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. File photo   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The National Accountability Bureau team took former army captain Muhammad Safdar into custody minutes after his arrival from London at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

Pakistan’s anti-corruption authorities on Monday arrested the son-in-law of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif from an airport here in connection with corruption cases pending against him.

A team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) took former army captain Muhammad Safdar into custody minutes after his arrival from London at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport along with his wife Maryam Nawaz.

Safdar has been nominated by NAB in one of three corruption cases filed on September 8 against Pakistan’s former premier Sharif, his daughter Maraym, sons Husain and Hasan and his son-in-law Safdar.

The couple had arrived to appear before an anti-graft tribunal in connection with the NAB reference pertaining to London properties owned by the Sharif family.

Safdar was later presented before a court in Islamabad, NAB officials said. Maryam, who was not detained, separately appeared in the same court for the first time.

However, Sharif and his two sons were absent as they are in London where 67-year-old Sharif’s wife is battling throat cancer.

Sharif attended the previous two hearings but went to London last week to see his ailing wife.

The court held brief hearing and took a break before announcing the hearing will resume shortly. During the brief hearing, Maryam was given copies of the case documents.

Sharif’s lawyer also presented an application to exempt him from appearance today as he was with his wife in London.

The trial judge had earlier issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Safdar and Sharif’s two sons for failing to appear in court in the last hearing held on October 2.

The court, however, repeated the bailable warrants for Sharif’s daughter.

“We are going back and will appear before the court and go through the wheels of justice. We respect the rule of law and the Constitution,” local media quoted Maryam as saying.

Asked whether her brothers would return to Pakistan to face the NAB references against them, she said, “Hassan and Hussain would themselves tell you about their decision“.

Safdar told Geo News that the couple had decided to return to Pakistan on the advice of their lawyers.

Sharif had to step down as prime minister and president of the ruling PML-N party after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal.

Sharif was re-elected as the president of the ruling PML-N on October 3 and immediately demanded that those who disqualified him should respect the people’s mandate and democracy.

London: Police incident after ‘car mounts pavement’, injuring a number of pedestrians

October 7, 2017

By Jon Sharman
The Independent

A major police incident is underway and several people have been injured after a car reportedly mounted the pavement outside London’s Natural History Museum.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “It is believed that a number of pedestrians have been injured.

“Officers are on scene, and the London Ambulance Service have been called. A man has been detained at the scene. Enquiries to establish the circumstances and motive are underway.”

The Met said it was called at 2.21pm. The force originally said the man had been formally arrested, but later revised its statement.

Lesley Carter drove past the scene moments after the initial incident.

He told The Independent: “Saw the man pinned down by about six people. One guy was trying to pin him down with his four- or five-year-old daughter in his arms.

Man held outside Natural History Museum after car ploughs into musuem

“It looked like the car had smashed in to the wall between two other cars and the guy got out to run before being pinned down. Loads of people running away and within minutes the police had turned up.”

A witness told Sky News: “When I heard the crash I saw people running. It was a bit panicky.”

Police asked anyone with information to call 101.

The Natural History Museum tweeted: “There’s been a serious incident outside the Museum. We are working w/ @metpoliceuk and will provide an update when we have more information.”

The A4 Cromwell Road is closed in both directions between Thurloe Place and Queen’s Gate.

More follows…


Natural History Museum crash: People hit by car

The BBC’s Chloe Hayward said it looked like a car had hit a boulder outside the museum

BBC News

Several pedestrians have been injured after a car hit people near the Natural History Museum in London, police say.

The Metropolitan Police said one person had been detained following the incident in Exhibition Road in South Kensington.

A BBC reporter at the scene said she had been told by police the injuries were minor.

Police said inquiries are under way to establish the circumstances and any motive.

A Downing Street spokesman said the prime minister is “being kept up to date on events”.

Car which hit pedestrians went on to plough into two other vehicles 

Car which hit pedestrians went on to plough into two other vehicles  CREDIT: DANNY SMITH

BBC reporter Chloe Hayward was leaving the Natural History Museum as the incident happened.

“I could see a car diagonally across the road, looking like it was going into one of the boulders on the side of the road, and I could see a crowd of people around what was clearly one or two people on the pavement,” she said.

She added there were now armed police at the scene.

“We have had lots of police coming onto the scene, helicopters above, and I can see an ambulance which is definitely having someone put in, but it isn’t clear how bad that injury is.”

An eyewitness who was walking to the Science Museum on the same street, said: “When waiting for the light, we heard what I thought was gunshots and saw a car drive over the pavement. We just ran. My friend dived on the floor and cut her hands.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “When it calmed down we walked back to where we’d been and saw a gentleman on the floor being restrained by police.”

Connor Honeyman, from Essex, who was in the queue for the museum, said: “We heard a horrible thudding noise and a car engine. Everyone started running and screaming inside.

“We ran in, everyone was following us, and then all the security guards ran out and they closed the main entrance. There was much confusion before the police got there.”

See also The Telegraph: