In the city, not everything is normal as it seems


The scene, surveyed from 1 Lombard Street on Thursday afternoon, looks almost old and normal.

Some people at the City Bar and Restaurant near the Bank of England linger after a long lunch. (Some of them should go home).

Some meet over bottled water to discuss trading strategies. There are a few dressed in pinstripes as if Covid, lockdown and WFH never happened.

Blessed gentlemen.

But some figures disturb this cheerful picture.

According to Dealogic, new companies have only invested $574 million in the past nine months.

British companies worth £41bn were taken over by foreigners over the same period, reflecting the weakness of the pound.

And that foreign investors rate UK plc higher than our own stock market.

At this rate, there won’t be a London market to argue and trade about any time soon.

Numis, the City Bank which is a real London success story, had bleak figures today.

Sales for the year are expected to decline 33% from record 2021.

The bank says: “The macroeconomic and geopolitical environment remains very volatile and it is very difficult to predict the timing of an improvement in capital market activity.”

This is the code for: Downsizing is coming, not only at Numis.

The cap on bank bonuses is being lifted at the very time when these bonuses will disappear for many.

Outside the city, no one will cry for bankers. That they do poorly doesn’t help the rest of us.

About Nina Snider

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