LONDON Getting the best deal for the City of London will be an "absolute priority" in Brexit trade talks with the European Union, Britain's financial services minister said on Tuesday, promising to engage constructively with the industry.
Banks are worried that their ability to offer services across the EU from a base in London will end once Britain leaves the EU, crimping the City of London's role as the world's top financial center.
Financial services minister Simon Kirby said maintaining Britain as a top financial center was an "absolute priority" for the government, including the ability for banks to hire top talent from across the world.
"Can the UK still be one of the best financial centers anywhere in the world, even if we're outside the EU? Well, let me say this is an absolute priority for this government," Kirby told a conference.
He urged the financial sector to talk with the government in a spirit of "constructive collaboration".
"We will listen to you," Kirby said.
(Reporting by William James and Huw Jones)