Barclays CEO Urges Theresa May to Cut Taxes Post-Brexit

  • Staley tells prime minister U.K. banks too heavily regulated
  • May met bankers including Staley, Cryan and Weber Thursday

Juncker Invites U.K. to Reverse Brexit `Catastrophe'

Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley called on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to cut taxes and relax regulations on British banks after Brexit, according to a person familiar with his comments.

Staley told May and other industry executives meeting in London earlier Thursday that high taxes and burdensome regulation were making it hard for U.K. financial-services firms to compete against their U.S. rivals, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private. 

Jes Staley on Jan. 11.

Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

It was the most constructive discussion between the government and bankers in some time, another person briefed on the talks said. Other executives invited to the meeting included Deutsche Bank AG CEO John Cryan, HSBC Holdings Plc Chairman Mark Tucker and UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber.

“The prime minister gave an overview of the U.K.’s position and updated on Brexit negotiations -- including the U.K.’s aim to agree an implementation period by the end of March,” according to a statement from May’s office. “The business leaders were united in emphasizing the need for as much certainty as possible,” and also “gave their views on how to maximize the benefits of an implementation period.”

One of the EU rules that has chafed on lenders and British regulators alike is the post-2014 limit on bonuses to twice fixed pay. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said in November that the U.K. could review the cap after Brexit.

Negotiations on the future trading relationship between the EU and U.K. are due to resume in March, with the position of banks a major discussion point. Germany will demand the U.K. make substantial contributions to the EU budget for the privilege of its financial firms having access to the single market after Brexit, officials familiar with their thinking said Wednesday.

U.K.-EU talks to date “were deemed to have provided reassurance” to the executives who attended the meeting, the statement from May’s office said.

— With assistance by Julie Edde, and Tim Ross

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