European officials are eyeing London's lucrative euro-clearing business even before the U.K. formally declares it is leaving the EU, and lawyers said they have a good chance of wresting it away to the eurozone.
In remarks just six days after the June 23 referendum in which the U.K. voted to leave the EU, French President François Hollande said that London would not be able to carry out clearing of euro-denominated transactions in future. While his remarks have no immediate impact on transactions totaling about $1 trillion a day, lawyers said the writing may now be on the wall for a business which the U.K. has already had to defend from eurozone ambitions in the past.
"No one's going to do us any favors: the French, the Germans and others have been champing at the bit to get hold of the euro clearing system, and I think this gives them a perfect opportunity. And I'm not sure there is a huge amount that we'd be able to do about it," Masoud Zabeti, head of finance and banking disputes at law firm Mishcon de Reya, said in an interview.
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