Leaders throughout the financial services industry react to the UK’s shock election result
Martin Gilbert, CEO, Aberdeen Asset Management
“The hope would be the result leads to a softer stance on Brexit, but it could also strengthen Europe’s hand. We will need to wait for Westminster to get its house in order – it is certainly not the time for fund managers to be making any knee-jerk investment or business decisions.”
Tim Hames, director general, British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association
“We are clearly in for a period of instability and uncertainty, especially around Brexit. This will not be welcomed by private equity or venture capital but it has proved robust in challenging political circumstances in the past and I am confident it can withstand these circumstances now.”
Chris Cummings, CEO, Investment Association
“Once again, the British public has confounded experts and pundits to deliver a verdict that few predicted. The voice of business was conspicuously missing from this election. We stand ready to engage with the government, whatever its final composition, to continue to create growth, jobs and investment.
“Cool temperaments must prevail over hot heads in the coming days and weeks, as the country charts a way forward in the biggest domestic and foreign policy challenges it has faced since the Second World War, in particular our new relationship with the EU.”
Sir Steve Webb, former pensions minister
“A minority government will struggle to pass any major reforming legislation which creates gainers and losers. Reforming the funding of social care will almost certainly be kicked into the long grass as will any big shake-up of pension tax relief.
“If the Conservatives are relying on the DUP for a majority, even policies such as ending the triple-lock or means testing the winter fuel payment will be called into question. The most we are likely to see is further tinkering as the Government looks to fill its budget shortfall with further salami slicing of pension tax relief for higher earners.”
Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors
“If we do indeed see a minority government, both sides of the aisle must swallow their pride and work on a cross-party basis on the most important issues,” says Stephen Martin. “The last thing business leaders need is a Parliament in paralysis, and the consequences for British businesses and for the U.K. as an investment destination would be severe.”
Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce
“Whilst companies have for many months done their best to screen out political noise in order to focus on their own operations, this result will prove much harder for UK businesses to ignore. The swift formation of a functioning government is essential to business confidence and our wider economic prospects.
“Businesses are adept at forming alliances and coalitions when important interests are at stake. We should expect the same of our politicians.”
Mike Cherry, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses
“In the coming hours and days, business needs immediate reassurance from the government that emerges about how it will protect the economy from any political turmoil. The UK must be seen to remain open for business, with a government committed to supporting enterprise.”
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP
“We are now in incredibly uncertain territory with very little, if any clarity about when, how and what Brexit negotiations will be. Everything is a big question mark.
“It looks like the DUP might agree to shore up the Conservative majority, but this would be very fragile. Maybe there will be another election shortly like 1974…. The electorate clearly doesn’t like political expediency.”