JPMorgan Chase currently employs 16,000 workers in Britain, but that number could be drastically decreased if the country decides to leave the European Union.
CEO Jamie Dimon has warned the country’s officials that Brexit could force JPMorgan to contract its business in the country.
British voters will decide on June 23 whether to remain a member of the 28-country group, or opt for “Brexit” and become the first EU country to strike out on its own.
Dimon said he believed a vote to leave would be a “terrible deal for the British economy.”
“At a minimum, a Brexit will result in years of uncertainty and I believe that this uncertainty will hurt the economies of both Britain and the European Union,” he said.
“In a bad scenario, and this is not the worst case scenario, trade retaliation against Britain by countries in the European Union is possible, even though this would not be in their own self-interest.”
The British government, the International Monetary Fund, President Obama and other world leaders, have also noted the damage that can occur if the country moves forward with a Brexit.
Many American companies use London as a springboard for their business throughout the EU. That’s because Britain has a “passport” that allows financial firms to offer services across the other 27 countries.
“One realistic outcome is that we lose the ability to passport our banking and trading services into Europe,” said Dimon. “So if the U.K. leaves the EU, we may have no choice but to reorganize our business model here. Brexit could mean fewer JP Morgan jobs in the UK and more jobs in Europe.”
Dimon has an even more severe warning about Brexit, saying it could be the beginning of the end for Europe.
“Retaliation would make things even worse for the British and European economies. And it is hard to determine if the long run impact would strengthen the European Union or cause it to break apart.”