Goldman Sachs donates six-figure sum to keep Britain in the EU

Goldman Sachs donates six-figure sum to keep Britain in the EU
Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union (EU), underscoring City firms' concerns about the implications of 'Brexit', Sky News reports.

Sky News can reveal that Goldman has agreed to give what insiders said was a "substantial six-figure sum" to Britain Stronger in Europe, the group chaired by the former Marks & Spencer boss Lord Rose.

The donation, on which Goldman declined to comment, reflects deepening anxiety among the Wall Street bank's senior executives about the potential economic disruption that they believe a British exit from the EU would cause.

Its decision to invest a substantial sum in the campaign makes Goldman, which employs 6000 people in the UK, one of the most prominent donors to either side of the looming EU referendum campaign.

A source close to the bank insisted that it should not be interpreted as a partisan political intervention, while the precise sum that it has donated was unclear.

The rules governing official campaign spending mean that both the officially-designated 'In' and 'Out' groups can spend £7m in the final ten weeks before the poll.

However, each political party is also allocated a sum to spend determined by their share of the vote at the last General Election, and with the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats all likely to back the 'In' campaign, it will be able to significantly outspend its rival.

The Electoral Commission requires registered campaign groups to submit a list of donors prior to a referendum.

Goldman is thought not to be the only big bank which has agreed to help fund the 'In' campaign: City insiders told Sky News on Wednesday that other firms had also agreed to commit money in recent weeks.

Wall Street's concerns about the impact of Brexit relate to both the likely end to the UK's ability to access the EU's single market in financial services, and the wider corporate uncertainty that many financiers believe would ensue.

Pro-Brexit campaigners argue that leaving the EU would allow Britain to negotiate more advantageous trade deals, and that the City would be largely unaffected.

Only the UK Independence Party, whose donors include the Express newspaper titles' owner Richard Desmond, will publicly call for such an outcome.

Goldman's in-principle support for the UK's membership of the EU is long-standing.

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