LONDON can extend its lead as the financial capital of Europe despite huge cost-cutting measures announced by Barclays as it axes at least 3,700 jobs, Boris Johnson said today.
The mayor of London said he expected ``shake-outs“ at individual banks as Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins revealed plans to slash costs by £1.7 billion.
The scandal-hit banking giant has seen pre-tax profits plunge to £246 million in 2012 from £5.9 billion the previous year, with nearly £2.5 billion of cash set aside to cover mis-selling compensation claims.
Speaking at the London Stock Exchange, Mr Johnson said: ``Obviously times have been tough for lots of banks for a long time, but it remains the case that the financial sector in London remains immensely strong.
``London is still far and away the dominant financial capital of Europe.
``There are going to be shake-outs of individual banks as there have been. That does not mean that those banks won’t go from strength to strength and London’s lead won’t be lengthened as a financial centre.”
Mr Johnson opened today’s trading at the LSE as he encouraged more science and technology companies to list in the capital.
The mayor was joined by Xavier Rolet, chief executive of London Stock Exchange Group, for the opening ritual, which involves lowering a glass block into place to see trading screens burst into life.
Mr Johnson spoke to about 30 representatives of London-based science and technology companies and said he hoped to raise the capital’s profile as a global technology and life sciences hub.
He added: ``What we’re doing today is (looking at) ways of encouraging investors to pile into the equity of some of these start-up firms, pile into their shares, build those businesses and do it here in London.”