By Anjuli Davies LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's financial services sector contributed a record 71.4 billion pounds in taxes last year, highlighting the potentially big impact of the country's vote to leave the European Union, according to the City of London Corporation. There is growing speculation that banks based in Britain will lose their rights to sell services freely across the EU once the country exits the now 28-nation bloc, prompting some to relocate to the continent. The total tax contribution from the financial services sector for the period to March 31, 2016 increased 7.4 percent from the previous year to the highest amount since the survey, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the City of London Corporation, began nine years ago.
The British Retail Consortium said total spending rose by a year-on-year rate of 1.3 percent, slower than October’s 2.4 percent although a little stronger than the average for 2016. Robust growth in consumer spending has been one of the main things sustaining Britain's economy since June's vote to leave the European Union. BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said spending was generally stable but retailers were relying on promotions to win over consumers.