“People in banking are not panicking about a no-deal Brexit. No one is storing food”

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Food hoarding

It takes more than the threat of crashing out of the European Union without a deal to rattle most people working London’s financial services industry. Following reports earlier this week that hundreds of people in Britain have been stocking up on £300 ‘Brexit food boxes’, we asked London bankers of various ages and nationalities if they have some canned fish in their cupboards. The answer was an emphatic no.

“Bankers are too used to eating out or ordering from Deliveroo to think about storing food for a no-deal Brexit,” said one London vice president (VP). "No banker that I know is worried about food stocks," says a director at a U.S bank. "I'm totally relaxed about Brexit," says a Goldman MD. "If there is an issue with food stocks, it will be a chance for a diet."

London finance professionals' sanguine approach to the potential for low food stocks after Brexit comes partly from a belief that food fears are the result of scaremongering and partly from their belief (shared with Jamie Dimon) that a hard Brexit won't happen. "People in finance largely believe Brexit won't happen at all," says one MD at Credit Suisse.

Rather than hoarding cans of baked beans, one trader said it makes more sense to "sit on cash". "When there's volatility and uncertainty, it makes more sense to sit on cash in the short term, with some dollars and gold for the long term," he said, adding that some UK single stocks might make sense in the long term if the pound falls.

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