The CEO of Goldman Sachs has stoked fears that the banking giant could pull more staff out of London after he took a thinly-veiled shot at the UK over Brexit.
In a rare tweet, banking boss Lloyd Blankfein sang the praises of Frankfurt - Germany’s financial centre - adding that he would be “spending a lot more time there”.
“Just left Frankfurt,” he wrote. “Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it.
“Good, because I’ll be spending a lot more time there. #Brexit”
The post is only the 20th tweet Blankfein has sent since he joined Twitter in 2011.
The message comes just weeks after Goldman Sachs announced it was leasing office space in Frankfurt large enough for 1,000 workers as part of its “Brexit contingency plan”.
According to the BBC, this plan includes adding hundreds of staff to its hubs in Paris and Frankfurt so it can continue to work with EU-based customers following Brexit, regardless of the outcome of negotiations.
This would reportedly involve hiring new European staff and moving UK staff over to the continent.
The investment bank’s chief executive Richard Gnodde told the news outlet in July: “We will maintain a very significant presence in London.
“But if the rules require us to have more on the continent we will have more on the continent,” he added.
Goldman Sachs currently employs around 6,000 UK staff.
When asked about Blankfein’s comments, a spokesperson for the company told HuffPost UK that expanded office space in Frankfurt will allow the bank “to grow our operations in Germany to serve our clients, as well as provide us with the space to execute on our Brexit contingency plan as needed”.
Blankfein’s tweet comes on the same day Theresa May is set to address EU leaders in Brussels in an attempt to push forward deadlocked Brexit talks.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is also in the Belgian capital, said that the situation underlined current uncertainties about leaving the EU.
He told the Press Association: “It’s not a good thing if companies of any sort - manufacturing, services or anybody else - are thinking of leaving.
“This really highlights the uncertainty surrounding the Government’s conduct of these negotiations.”
Others took to Twitter to share their worries about what Blankfein’s message could mean for the UK:
But a spokesperson for May attempting to allay fears, telling Reuters that London “is and will remain the world’s leading financial centre”.
They said: “We have the breadth of talent, legal system, regulation and deep pools of capital that are simply unrivalled by centres anywhere else in Europe, and we are confident of securing an ambitious economic partnership with the EU that will include financial services.”