Business groups call for stability after UK votes to leave EU

Business groups have stressed the need for stability after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Share prices and the value of the pound plunged as the markets responded to the result of Thursday?s referendum.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn described the decision as ?a momentous turning point in our history? and said that many businesses will be concerned about the implications.

She continued: ?The urgent priority now is to reassure the markets. We need strong and calm leadership from the Government, working with the Bank of England, to shore up confidence and stability in the economy.

?The CBI will be consulting its members and business is committed to working with Government to shape the best possible conditions for future prosperity.?

Dr Adam Marshall, acting director-general of the BCC, echoed those comments, saying that the immediate priorities for UK business are ?market stability and political clarity?.

?Some businesspeople will be pleased with the result, and others resigned to it. Yet all companies will expect swift, decisive, and coordinated action from the Government and the Bank of England to stabilise markets if trading conditions or the availability of capital change dramatically.?

Marshall called for a detailed plan to support the economy during the transition period, and said that confidence, investment, hiring and growth would be ?deeply affected by a prolonged period of uncertainty?.

?If ever there were a time to ditch the straight-jacket of fiscal rules for investment in a better business infrastructure, this is it,? he added.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney acknowledged that there will be a period of ?uncertainty and adjustment? following the referendum result and that there is likely to be some volatility in the markets and the economy.

?But we are well prepared for this,? he said.

?The Treasury and the Bank of England have engaged in extensive contingency planning and the Chancellor and I have been in close contact, including through the night and this morning.

?The Bank will not hesitate to take additional measures as required as those markets adjust and the UK economy moves forward.

These adjustments will be supported by a resilient UK financial system – one that the Bank of England has consistently strengthened over the last seven years.?

Carney pointed out that UK banks have raised over ?130bn of capital, and now have more than ?600bn of high quality liquid assets, providing flexibility to continue to lend to UK businesses and households, ?even during challenging times?.

Additionally, to support the functioning of markets, the Bank of England is ready to provide more than ?250bn of additional funds through its normal facilities and is also able to provide substantial liquidity in foreign currency, if required.

?We expect institutions to draw on this funding if and when appropriate, just as we expect them to draw on their own resources as needed in order to provide credit, to support markets and to supply other financial services to the real economy,? Carney said.

?In the coming weeks, the Bank will assess economic conditions and will consider any additional policy responses.?

A later statement from the Bank of England pledged that the central bank would take ?all necessary steps to meet its responsibilities for monetary and financial stability?.