Monday

19th Aug 2019

Bloomberg: City of London 'more profitable' inside EU

  • 'I think that London will be a financial centre no matter what' (Photo: David Harmantas)

The former mayor of New York City and businessman Michael Bloomberg said he hoped the United Kingdom would vote to stay in the European Union.

“I don't know what the British public is going to do, and it's not my job to tell them,” he told EUobserver and a handful of journalists in the European Parliament on Wednesday (22 June), one day before UK citizens go to the polls in a referendum that will determine whether the country will give up its EU membership.

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  • Former NYC mayor Bloomberg at the launch of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (Photo: European Commission)

“But I hope from my point of view, from America's point of view, from my company's point of view, that they vote to stay in the EU. We'll see what happens”, he added.

Bloomberg was mayor of New York City, home of Wall Street, from 2002 to 2014.

This website asked him to reflect on the future of the British financial hub, the City of London. Some fear that after a British exit from the EU, companies would be tempted to leave.

“I think that London will be a financial centre no matter what,” Bloomberg said.

“The question is: would it be easier and more profitable, and will it be able to adapt to change better, if it is part of the EU? And I think yes it would be”, he added.

“I can only speak from my company's point of view and my perspective about the financial industry. The situation today is much better than it would have been without the EU or would be if you took the UK out of the EU”, he said.

The billionaire former mayor is founder and CEO of the financial data and media company that shares his name: Bloomberg.

He is also a special envoy for cities and climate change for the United Nations.

He visited Brussels on Wednesday to launch the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a merger of a European and a global network of city leaders.

Speaking in the European Parliament alongside Italian centre-right MEP Giovanni La Via, he praised the European project.

“We appreciate in America everything that the EU does. I've always been a big EU fan,” he said.

“If you think about it, the real benefit of the EU to me has always been: it's taken a continent where we had an awful lot of wars, and it's made peace for a lot of years, and helped the populations of every country grow and deal with the changing world.”

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