If Britons vote to leave the EU, London’s financial centre faces losing one of its top money spinners – the trade in trillions of euros in derivatives – and the European Central Bank will be pushing hard for the business to move onto its patch.
According to euro zone central bank officials, the ECB is determined to tackle an anomaly dating from 1999 when Britain opted out of the euro’s launch: a dominant share of trading in the currency it issues goes on outside its jurisdiction in London.
Euro zone officials are reluctant to discuss publicly such a sensitive issue – and the risk that London could lose out to rivals Frankfurt and Paris – before the June 23 referendum on a British exit from the European Union.
But Christian Noyer, a former ECB vice president and Bank of France governor, is free to make the case as he no longer holds a high office in the euro zone.
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