LSE forms Brexit unit to protect London’s financial-hub status

LONDON • London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSE) has set up a Brexit unit to advise policymakers on how to protect London as a financial hub and prevent the divorce shattering financial-market infrastructure.

The programme, which UK regulators asked LSE to set up, will engage with British and European officials to guide them on Brexit’s impact on markets. LSE’s goal is to keep continuity of cross-border financial services, and prevent financial-market fragmentation.

“Shortly after the referendum as we had predicted, this became a political issue,” LSE chief Xavier Rolet said on a conference call after the company reported first-half revenue of £853 million (RM4.86 billion) and raised its dividend. “The evidence strongly suggests that maintaining the status quo will be not just the best option but the only option.”

When Britain voted to leave the European Union a year ago, LSE’s clearing unit quickly became the focus of European politicians seeking to lure business from post-Brexit London. Rolet has been a vocal critic of European calls to force the relocation of clearing, a profitable business for the exchange and a key battleground for the financial-services industry.— Bloomberg