Chancellor to tell world finance ministers UK will remain 'active' post-Brexit

Updated: 
Paul Ryan UK visit

Chancellor Philip Hammond will tell counterparts from around the world that the UK will remain "active" in the global economy after Brexit.

At the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mr Hammond will tell his fellow finance ministers how the UK plans to "lock in" the economic progress it has made.

The gathering in Washington follows talks in New York with Wall Street banks which are thought to have covered the economy, Brexit and Theresa May's decision to call a snap election in June.

In a message on Twitter the Chancellor said: "In Washington DC for #IMFMeetings. Will be telling fellow FMs how UK plans to lock in econ progress made - staying active in global economy."

Before heading to Washington, Mr Hammond is understood to have met executives from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as part of efforts to reassure Wall Street about the UK's future as a financial services centre.

Antonia Romeo, the senior civil servant at the Department for International Trade and the outgoing consul general in New York posted a picture of Mr Hammond at a meeting with business leaders in the city.

She said he was "meeting business & strengthening UK-US economic ties".

Mr Hammond last met with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley near the end of March, when the Government officially triggered Article 50, sources told the Press Association.

The talks are part of efforts by the Treasury to reassure big US banks over Britain's future trading relationship with the EU, including leaving the single market and losing passporting rights.

Mr Hammond has kept in regular contact with a number of foreign banks since the start of the year, having met with UBS and asset manager BlackRock at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, and caught up with Goldman and BlackRock again in February.

It is understood that the Chancellor has taken a lead role in Treasury meetings with foreign banks, given the importance of financial services to the UK economy, particularly in light of Brexit.

City Minister Simon Kirby was stripped of responsibilities for overseeing Brexit's impact on financial services near the end of January, months after being handed the portfolio.

The move came amid reports that senior City executives were unhappy with Mr Kirby's credentials, after he was unable to provide detailed answers and assurances about how the Treasury was handling Brexit.

Mr Kirby's duties have since been transferred to former Tesco executive Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who was appointed Commercial Secretary to the Treasury in December.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe has yet to meet with US banks but has pending meetings with Wall Street reps in her diary, PA understands.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.