FTSE 100 founder: Brexit will be an 'inspiration' for the British economy

The founder of the FTSE 100 listed stockbrokers, Hargreaves Lansdown, says that the uncertainty that would come from Britain leaving the European Union could give the British economy a big boost.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Peter Hargreaves — who founded the brokerage in the early 80s with business partner Stephen Lansdown — said:

“I’m firmly convinced, that day – hopefully – we decide to leave, that little bit of insecurity, that little bit of unknown will be an absolute fillip to everyone,” adding that Britain leaving the EU “will be a great incentive for us to go out and prove that it’s right.”

The former boss compared a possible Brexit — Britain leaving the EU — to Singapore splitting from Malaysia in the 1960s, calling it an inspiration.

“When Singapore became independent from Malaysia, that little insecurity that they were no longer part of Malaysia, it was an inspiration. I honestly think that would be good for us too.”

Lansdown left Hargreaves Lansdown’s board last year, but still owns nearly a third of the company, and was keen to stress that the opinions he gave the BBC were personal, and not those of the company that bares his name.

One of the big concerns cited by campaigners to remain in the EU is that the City of London will suffer, but Hargreaves thinks that those worries are massively overblown, citing the fact that Russians and citizens from all over the world pump money into the city.

“We raise money for the Russians, we raise money all over the world, for countries that are not in Europe. “They have got to use London. London can raise billions on a few phone calls” he said, adding that bankers and financiers wouldn’t move to the likes of Paris and Frankfurt because London is essentially a nicer place to live.

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