Goldman Sachs CEO: Brexit effects not as bad as I thought … for now
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said he is surprised there hasnt been “more of a dramatic effect” due to the Brexit vote, but thinks the full consequences are yet to be seen.
In an interview with POLITICO Thursday in Brussels, Blankfein said the U.K. economy has remained healthy despite the vote, but post Brexit other EU capitals will see their economies growing due to relocating banks.
“For us, it will be the bigger economies of Frankfurt and Paris,” he said, noting that Brexit will require “more distribution of [the bank] than otherwise we would have.”
Goldmans European headquarter is in London, where the bank is currently building a new base worth €1 billion. That will remain the companys European center, Blankfein said, but added that if Goldman had known Brexit would happen, “we might have made a different decision.”
“Therefore, there are decisions made today, and people who are building buildings four years from now wont be. So far whats evident is that we wouldve thought decision-making wouldve been altered by now [due to Brexit].”
“Maybe theres been a lag but certainly, there hasnt been a dramatic fall-off,” he said.
Nonetheless, contingency plans for banks are well on the way, Blankfein added, in order to be ready for March 2019.
“We cant rent real estate at the last minute … we have to get central bank approval and licenses, we may have to deal with clients from different entities and repaper relationships,” he said. Banks are thus addressing those topics now, Blankfein said.