Lloyds Banking Group, the biggest banking business in the UK, has warned that a so-called Brexit — Britain voting to leave the European Union — will cause “economic uncertainty” in the short term.
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the banking group — which contains Lloyds Bank, as well as building society Halifax — said that while it is worried about the short-term impact of Brexit, it is “unclear” about the long-term future if Britain does leave the EU.
While Lloyds’ board is backing the remain side of the argument, it did acknowledge that the economics of Brexit is not the only factor for voters.
“The Board is mindful that the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU is a matter for the UK electorate, and that for many the debate is about more than just economics,” the statement said.
Lloyds’ warning on Brexit is something of a contradiction to the position of the bank’s chairman, Norman Blackwell. Blackwell is one of few senior figures in the UK’s banking sector to have explicitly backed Brexit.
In October last year, Blackwell said that Britain “
is likely to remain an attractive global location” regardless of the outcome of the vote. Blackwell told the Financial Times: “I don’t agree that remaining in the European Union without a significant change in the current arrangements is ultimately sustainable from a political and constitutional perspective.”