Britain’s biggest banks are drafting in staff to work through the night on Thursday as they gear up for the EU referendum result, amid fears a Brexit could send shockwaves through financial markets.
Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and US giants such as JP Morgan Chase and Citi are among those calling in senior traders and workers for what is set to be a turbulent 24 hours after voting closes at 10pm.
Volatility in the pound has already surged to levels not seen since the financial crisis and sterling is set for a rocky ride as the results come in.
Barclays is understood to be planning to fully staff its client-focused teams, such as foreign exchange and commodities trading, so they can help clients manage their risks.
Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland is also manning trading desks 24 hours thanks to teams in London, Singapore and Stamford in the US.
Despite its heavy focus on retail banking, fellow high street lender Lloyds will have some staff in its commercial banking business overnight to deal with client inquiries.
A number of banks are said to be booking nearby hotel rooms and laying on food overnight for trading teams and some firms are even believed to be offering small bonuses to staff drafted in.
The Bank of England has remained tight-lipped about its preparations for the night, saying only that it is carrying out detailed contingency planning, which will be made public after the event.
Other groups are also planning to follow the results of the referendum live, with City of London Corporation chairman Mark Boleat saying it will have “an all night session” on June 23.
The Bank of England has issued stark warnings in te run-up that a vote to leave the EU could spark turmoil in foreign exchange, equity and bond markets, not just in the UK but worldwide.