There are fears a British exit from the euro zone could mean London's financial centre loses one of its top money spinners - the trade in trillions of euros in derivatives. Ivor Bennett reports.
It's an odd quirk that Europe's financial capital doesn't actually use the euro. But ever since the single currency was adopted, London has been its dominant force. Accounting for a trade worth trillions of euros in derivatives. But that gilded status could be under threat should Britain leave the EU. Former ECB Vice President Christian Noyer arguing that the bank would want to take back control. SOUNDBITE (English) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, DIRECTOR OF SOVEREIGN RISK ANALYSIS, JAN RANDOLPH, SAYING: "All sorts of regulations may exclude London-based entities from dealing and selling into the European financial services market. We simply don't know. It depends what kind of line, political line essentially, the rump EU takes with the City of London." The City currently accounts for 12 percent of the UK economy. Generating roughly 66 billion dollars in tax revenue a year. It may get to keep the American banks in case of a Brexit. But, in this case, it's the European institutions that matter. SOUNDBITE (English) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, DIRECTOR OF SOVEREIGN RISK ANALYSIS, JAN RANDOLPH, SAYING: "It would be a loss of the crown jewels in the UK economy. London and the financial sector and its supporting auxiliary industries are tremendously important." Pro-Brexit campaigners say the predictions are misplaced, pointing out the same forecasts were made when Britain declined to adopt the euro. But it seems few share their optimism. The prospect of a derivatives shake up already shaping thinking around the planned merger between the London Stock Exchange and Germany's Deutsche Boerse.