Guy Hands Calls on Labour Party to ‘Engage’ With City of London

Guy Hands, the founder of private-equity firm Terra Firm Capital Partners, urged the U.K.’s Labour Party to “engage” with the financial-services industry to help it understand the level of change since the banking crisis.

Labour “made a huge effort pre-2007 to get very, very close to the City,” Hands, 55, said, referring to London’s financial district, in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Guy Johnson in London.

“They feel they were, frankly, conned and they feel very upset about it, Hands said. ‘‘What the City has to do is to find a way to engage with Labour. I hope Labour will find a way of listening to the City.’’

The primary consideration for investors in a western economy should be political and what the government could do in terms of changing strategy, Hands said. His comments come ahead of elections this year and as Labour’s finance spokesman, Ed Balls, calls for bankers’ bonuses to be deferred for at least 10 years, along with a one-time levy to help fund paid starter jobs for young people.

‘‘The fact that at the top level the City is paying now less well than industry doesn’t come across,” Hands said. “So their view is it’s still a bunch of fat cats playing monopoly, which it really isn’t.”

“I just hope Labour’s willing to engage in that before making bold decisions, which would harm the U.K. economy. I think they will. But you never know.”

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