UK market regulator plays down risk from 'Brexit'

[LONDON] The head of Britain's financial market regulator played down concern about the possible effects of Britain leaving the European Union in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Tuesday.

"Switzerland operates I think reasonably successfully outside of the European Union," said Martin Wheatley, head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

"We've operated reasonably successfully, as a number of countries have, outside of the eurozone, so it's not to say that there isn't a model that can work but it's a different model," he said.

The comments clash with warnings about the negative impact of "Brexit" from many business leaders and key figures in the City of London financial hub.

Mr Wheatley told the Wall Street Journal that in the event of Britain leaving it was "highly unlikely that the UK would immediately tear up" EU market regulation.

"I think the likelihood is in all the bits of regulatory architecture there would still be some things that we voluntarily would choose to subject ourselves to," he said.

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership by the end of 2017.


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