Blacktower recommits to Gibraltar but 'contemplates' future

Added 27th June 2016

Blacktower Financial Management Group says it has no plans to leave Gibraltar for now and will go ahead with the opening of a new office there as the firm sought to reassure the British overseas territory over claims it is looking to move its headquarters to another EU member state.

Blacktower recommits to Gibraltar but 'contemplates' future

In a statement issued on Monday, the firm said: “This is not the case.

“In fact, we are on the verge of moving into larger premises and taking on additional staff within the Gibraltar office – we do not believe this to be the sign of a company with the intention of leaving Gibraltar.”

EU passporting

Last week, the company’s managing director, John Westwood, told International Adviser that a possible move of its entire business operations may be on the cards in the “coming months” as the firm looks to shore up its EU ‘passporting’ status following the outcome of the UK's referendum.

"We passport throughout Europe through our Gibraltar office and for over a year now we’ve been making contingency plans to move the business if we had to, to another EU jurisdiction and those plans are very well advanced," he said.

It’s likely that EU ‘passporting’, which gives financial services firms based in the union - including Gibraltar - the automatic right to sell services across the 28-nation bloc, will have to be renegotiated with the EU as part of Britain’s exit strategy.

“Gibraltar provided us with the opportunity to build a strong and robust business and we have no intention of leaving the jurisdiction, quite the contrary.”

'Knee-jerk reactions'

The Gibraltar-headquartered firm, which provides advice to British expats across Europe, has since clarified its position, explaining that now is “not a time for knee-jerk reactions.”

However, it did admit that Britain’s decision to leave the EU means that the firm, which currently has 15 regional offices across Europe, needs to “seriously contemplate” its future in Gibraltar from a “licencing position.”

“We are not alone in this,” the firm said.

Regulated in UK, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands, Blacktower said it was working with Gibraltar’s government and the Financial Services Commission to find a “solution” to the Brexit scenario.

“Gibraltar provided us with the opportunity to build a strong and robust business and we have no intention of leaving the jurisdiction, quite the contrary,” it said.

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Monira Matin

Senior Reporter

Monira joined International Adviser in March 2016 from Informa Global Markets where she worked as a eurobond reporter for over two years, covering fixed income markets. She has previously held a number of editorial positions covering politics, insurance and technology. Monira has a degree in Journalism and Economics from City University.

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