Lloyds Says Brexit to Spark Economic Uncertainty, Volatility

  • Bank comments in statement after board meeting on Thursday
  • Lloyds says longer-term economic impact of Brexit is unclear

Lloyds Banking Group Plc said a possible vote in favor of Britain leaving the European Union in a June referendum will likely spark economic uncertainty and potential volatility in the short term.

Exiting the 28 nation bloc would mean “no certainty over how the U.K.’s position outside the EU would evolve,” the London-based bank said in a statement on Thursday after its board discussed the potential implications for the lender, its customers, staff and shareholders. 

Several senior financiers across Europe have warned that a vote in favor of “Brexit” would be catastrophic for the nation’s economy and could drive banks to relocate jobs overseas, damaging London’s status as a global business hub. The comments from the 9.2 percent state-owned bank come after its Chairman, Norman Blackwell, supported a U.K. departure from the EU, when speaking in a personal capacity. 

“With no certainty over how the U.K.’s position outside the EU would evolve, the longer-term economic impact is unclear,” Britain’s largest mortgage lender said.

Lloyds has dropped 5.8 percent this year, with investor concern over Brexit helping push the shares below the 73.6 pence average price the government paid in its 20.5 billion-pound ($29 billion) bailout at the height of the financial crisis. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in January postponed the sale of further government shares in Lloyds, citing “turbulent financial markets.”

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