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Barclays jobs axe no threat to London dominance, Mayor says

Boris Johnson opened trading at the London Stock Exchange today. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Boris Johnson opened trading at the London Stock Exchange today. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
10:44 AM

Boris Johnson insisted London’s financial sector remains “immensely strong” despite Barclays Bank’s announcement today of 3,700 job losses.

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The London Mayor was joined by Xavier Rolet, chief executive of London Stock Exchange Group, as he opened today’s trading, which involves lowering a glass block into place to see trading screens burst into life.

Mr Johnson encouraged more science and technology companies to list in the capital.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins revealed plans to £1.7 billion worth of cost-cutting plans.

The scandal-hit banking giant has seen pre-tax profits drop to £246 million in 2012 from £5.9 billion the previous year, with nearly £2.5 billion of cash set aside to cover misselling compensation claims.

Speaking at the London Stock Exchange today, 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 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.”

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