‘Brexit idiocy’ blamed for tech giant ARM choosing New York over London

London markets finished higher despite a slump for NatWest (Luciana Guerra/PA) (PA Archive)
London markets finished higher despite a slump for NatWest (Luciana Guerra/PA) (PA Archive)

The “idiocy” of Brexit is partially to blame for one of the UK's largest tech firms choosing to list on the New York Stock Exchange over London, it was warned on Tuesday.

Hermann Hauser, who pioneered ARM’s technology whilst at Acorn computers, said the City's reputation had "suffered a lot" since Britain left the European Union.

Cambridge-based software company ARM is hoping to raise $10billion with its initial public offering (IPO), an amount he believes would not be possible in Britain.

The firm on Saturday filed with regulators confidentially for a US market listing, setting the stage for this year's largest stock offering.

When asked why the company was being listed in New York over London, Mr Hauser told BBC Radio 4: "The fact is that New York is a much deeper market than London, partially because of the the Brexit idiocy the image of the London Stock Exchange has suffered a lot in the international community."

ARM is one of the UK’s few world-class tech companies and its technology is at the heart of most smartphones.

It was bought by investment holding company Softbank for $31 billion in 2016.

The decision to list the firm on the New York Stock Exchange, first announced in March, came after London was dealt a Brexit blow last year when research showed the City had lost its title of Europe’s largest equity market to France.

Paris became Europe’s largest centre for trading equities for the first time in November last year and has since has widened the gap. The French capital has a total market capitalisation of $3.13 trillion, exceeding London’s by $250 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Trade from the EU to the UK down has fallen sharply since Brexit, while the loss of hundreds of thousands of European workers has led to labour shortages in some industries.

Combined with the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the impact of exiting the EU has added to the drag on Britain’s economy.

Mr Hauser added that there was still a "a lot of support" for ARM in London and the company could eventually be listed in the City.

He said: "ARM of course is a UK company, arguably one of the more globally successful technology companies, and there is a lot of support in the London City for ARM so it would make a lot of sense for ARM to have a secondary listing in the London stock exchange eventually."