A DEPUTY governor at the Bank of England visited Brighton to hear businesses’ fears about Brexit.

Sam Woods met a number of key business people at The Amex during a day-long visit.

He said: “I like to go out and about and my main mission is to listen.

“It has taken us ten years to repair the damage done after the banking crisis but that has been done.

“Now we are mitigating the risk of a ‘cliff edge’ Brexit.

“I am happy we have done what we can within the financial services sector. Of course, the businesses I spoke to were talking about Brexit. I think that they are holding up any investment for a bit, it’s wait and see.

“They aren’t committing to any of the ‘nice to haves’ at the moment.

“I’m confident that business is operating as normal, which is reassuring but people are choosing to pause on discretionary spending.

“The people I spoke to in Brighton seemed to be cheerful, they are largely carrying on as normal.

“I believe that businesses generally have had a good year but of course there is a current focus on ‘cliff edge’ risks around Brexit.

“As long as a deal is struck, people will be relieved the uncertainty will end. I think there will then be a rebound. The investment that has been put off should then happen.”

Mr Woods is the deputy governor for prudential regulation and chief executive officer of the Prudential Regulation Authority.

He said that it has taken ten years to get banking back into a good position after the big crash ten years ago.

He said: “Banking is now in a good state but in many ways it has taken us a lot longer than we expected.

“We have 150 staff working on Brexit in our department at present.”

Mr Woods also spoke to The Argus about the huge number of bank closures, especially in rural communities.

He said: “Between thirty and forty per cent of banks have closed.

“Technology is changing but I am aware that digital access can be an issue.”