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UPDATE 1-UK downplays risk of EU poaching City of London business

·1 min read

(Adds context)

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain on Sunday downplayed therisk of the European Union taking business away from the City ofLondon after Brexit, saying the real challenges come from NewYork, Tokyo and other areas.

Britain completed its exit from the EU at the end of 2020,but the last-minute free trade deal that replaced membership ofthe bloc did not include arrangements for free trade infinancial services - the engine of Britain's economy.

Data published on Thursday showed Amsterdam has displacedLondon as Europe's biggest share trading centre after Britainleft the EU's single market, and picked up a chunk of Britishderivatives business.

"If we're really honest about it, the challenge to London asthe global financial centre around the world will come fromTokyo, New York, and other areas, rather than from thoseEuropean hubs, particularly if they start to erect barriers totrade and investment," foreign minister Dominic Raab told theBBC.

Britain has yet to be granted the equivalence status onfinancial services regulation that would free up trade, becausethe EU says it needs information about Britain's intentions todiverge from EU rules. Britain says it has supplied all thenecessary paperwork.

Raab said the EU risked undermining its own competitivenessif it put up barriers in order to "nick a bit of business hereand there from the City".

EU authorities have previously been clear that it wantseuro-denominated financial activity shifted from London to buildup its own capital market under direct Brussels supervision.(Reporting by William James;Editing by Gareth Jones and Barbara Lewis)