Custody leaders play down Brexit fallout

Securities service leaders remain calm following Brexit urging the industry not to overreact.
By Conner G. Guidry
European securities services leaders played down any catastrophic effects from the UK referendum and remained positive on the future at the GC Leaders panel this Thursday.

The panel highlighted that they need to come together in an uncertain time and that thing’s aren’t quite as bad as they seem now the dust has settled. Citi’s global head of custody and fund services, Sanjiv Sawhney, even added that they were “prepared for worse” and that “things went more seamless than anticipated”.

Cian Burke, head of HSBC Securities Services, went on to layout solutions for a healthy recovery.

“Now that everything is done and dusted, we are back to business as usual,” he said. “Yes the markets gapped massively, but our job is focus on our clients needs and nothing else.

“Collectively – for once – we may need to come together,” he added on Brexit.

Burke also claimed that it is not necessary for asset managers to be redomociling their funds and overeaction is unnecessary as the FTSE is now trading at usual levels. “All the EU needs is harmonisation in terms of regulation. We can certainly adapt to this complex uncertain scenario.”

The other three panelists continued to support Burke’s claims by recounting the industry’s history. Satvinder Singh, head of global securities services at Deutsche Bank, said: “This wild comparison with 2008 is completely unjustified. We had months of Reuters showing red for every other bank/currency and as an industry, we survived.”

The discussion followed with Penny Biggs, executive vice president of Northern trust urging the industry and market participants to pull themselves together. “If there was ever an example of making a drama out of a crisis, this was definitely one. If we settle down a bit, there’s a fighting chance that we all might just be….fine”.

All members of the panel resonated that the banks role in this time of uncertainty, is to aid clients with volatility in the market, and to stay calm by showing they have the capacity to handle whatever happens in the near future.