Goldman Sachs eyes tilt to EU if UK backs 'Brexit' - paper

A man leaves a taxi outside the Goldman Sachs offices in central London October 15, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs GS.N would shift resources towards locations in continental Europe and away from Britain should the country's voters choose to end the country's membership of the EU, a senior executive told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

“We would not completely leave Britain but we would certainly strengthen our presence in other locations within the EU,” Richard Gnodde, co-chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs International and co-head of the Investment Banking Division was quoted as saying in an interview.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who won an unexpectedly decisive victory in a general election last month, has promised to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU and hold a referendum on membership by the end of 2017.

Some investors, chief executives and allies have warned that a “Brexit,” or vote not to stay in the bloc, would be politically and economically costly for Britain, whose economy is the world’s fifth largest.

Gnodde said it was in everyone’s interest - and particularly the UK’s - that the country stay in the Union.

“Britain must remain part of a larger economic bloc. Anything else would damage the broader economy as well as the financial sector,” he said in an excerpt of the interview released on Saturday, ahead of publication on Sunday.

However, should the vote unexpectedly turn against the EU, Frankfurt - home of the European Central Bank - could benefit.

“I’m not revealing any secret when I say that in the unlikely event of a Brexit we would certainly put more resources into Frankfurt,” Gnodde said.

Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Greg Mahlich