Canary Wharf at dusk

How will Brexit affect London’s SMEs and global financial status?

10 October 2016

London is Europe’s financial centre and a leading global financial centre. SMEs account for the vast majority of private sector business in London, and also make up a substantial proportion of private sector employment.

  • Financial services create roughly a fifth of the total value created in London’s economy.
  • London is home to 250 foreign banks – the highest concentration in any financial centre.
  • 40 per cent of the top 250 companies have their headquarters in London, compared to 8 per cent in Paris.
  • London’s SMEs account for 18 per cent of all UK private sector SMEs.
  • 30 per cent of the turnover generated by all UK private sector SMEs comes from London’s SMEs.
  • Around 2.6 million people work for London’s SMEs.

Following the referendum result, what does London’s future hold as a leading financial centre? What are the opportunities and risks of losing passport rights? What effect would restrictions on skilled migrants have on the financial services sector and SMEs?

The London Assembly Economy Committee will tomorrow investigate the impact of Brexit on both the financial services sector and SMEs in London. The Committee will ask the expert panels what steps the Mayor can take to maximise the opportunities and mitigate the risks of Brexit.

In the first section of the meeting (3:30-4:30pm approx.) the guests will be:

  • Professor Niamh Moloney, London School of Economics
  • Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Money
  • Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK

In the second section of the meeting (4:30-5:30pm approx.) the guests will be:

  • Sue Terpilowski, London Policy Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses
  • Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive, London Chamber of Commerce
  • Simon Pitkeathley, Chief Executive, Camden Town Unlimited

This meeting forms part of a series of meetings on the impact of Brexit on London, with upcoming meetings focusing on London’s labour market and workers’ rights and the Mayor’s negotiations with Government to secure the best deal for London’s economy. 

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, 11 October from 3:30pm in Committee Room 5 at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1). Media and members of the public are invited to attend.

The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the meeting discussion using #AssemblyEconomy and #EUExit.


Notes to editors

  1. Full agenda papers.
  2. Fiona Twycross AM, Chair of the Economy Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.
  3. London Assembly Economy Committee.
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.