The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan used his presence at a huge annual racing event for the capital’s financial sector to say “London is open for business,” despite the Brexit vote causing concern over future migration rules, thereby jobs, and the impact on professional services.
At the J.P.Morgan Corporate Challenge event this week, which Business Insider attended, Khan said in a speech just before he sounded the starting klaxon to the race that regardless of what nationality you are, “we want you to know that you are welcome here.”
He added, “the runners taking part represent hundreds of companies in the UK who contribute to our vibrant economy and help London to be the world’s top international financial centre. I want them to know London is open for business and we welcome them and the contribution they make to our capital.”
This was the 30-year anniversary of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge race in London. The 5.6-kilometre race, which benefits charity Age UK, was held over two evenings in Battersea Park. Khan sounded the starter horn on Thursday evening before joining thousands of runners.
Afterward, he was also Snapchatting and taking selfies with runners:
More than 28,000 runners from 770 firms took part over the two days. On Thursday, around 15,000 financiers were running, including Goldman Sachs (619 entrants), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (597), Morgan Stanley (457), BNP Paribas (446), Barclays (300), and Societe Generale (300).
So it was a good opportunity for Khan to keep the financial industry’s morale up after various reports surfaced over the last month to warn that Brexit could significantly impact the sector.
London is at the heart of the global foreign exchange markets with more than $1 trillion (£747 billion) of trades taking place in the city every day, but the markets worry that this volume could be about to substantially drop now that Britain has voted to leave the EU.
This uncertainty over the City of London’s role as Europe’s key financial hub, if the UK does leave the European Union, means that many banks are thought to be considering moving substantial numbers of staff away from their UK operations and to elsewhere on the continent.