Luxembourg is benefiting from Brexit but not at a cost to London, the country’s finance minister insisted in an interview.
Speaking to Bloomberg journalist Stephan Engle at the Alfi Asia roadshow in Hong Kong on Monday, Pierre Gramegna confirmed that the UK’s expected loss of automatic general access to the European single market because of Brexit had resulted in London-based financial service players “adding presence or putting more substance so they have a subsidiary that can do all things inside the EU single market.”
He explained that during the last 12 months insurance firms, asset management companies and some “major American banks” had chosen Luxembourg but stressed Luxembourg was not there to take business from London. He said: “All this will be a kind of bridge between London and Luxembourg.”
Gramegna further said that the whole Brexit system had been “dramatised excessively” and said that companies had dedramatised it by setting up subsidiaries.
Also in the interview, Gramegna alluded to a European regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and a potential enlargement of the European Union but stressed “it’s a long process”.
Gramegna is on a mission to Hong Kong and Tokyo from 14 to 20 January. While there he was expected to give a speech at the plenary session of the Asian Financial Forum and hold meetings with, among others, Hong Kong counterpart Paul Chan Mo-po, aimed at strengthening links between Luxembourg and Hong Kong.
In Tokyo, Gramenga will meet with counterpart Taro Aso, as a follow-up to the State visit in November 2017. He will also meet with Japanese financial sector players.