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(Bloomberg) -- Bob Diamond, the former Barclays Plc chief executive officer turned bank investor, said Britain’s exit from the European Union will bring the continent’s nations closer together, comments that drew opposition from some bank executives.

Brexit is a “‘net positive” for European banks outside the U.K., Diamond, whose Atlas Merchant Capital invests in lenders, said Tuesday at the Bloomberg European Banking Conference in Milan. It will bring renewed “impetus” for reform and a deepening of the region’s capital markets, he said.

Sergio Ermotti, UBS Group AG’s chief executive officer, disagreed, saying the main winners will be New York and Asia, while Europe in its current form is doomed to fall behind both regions.

“I don’t think Europe in its existing form has any chance to succeed,” he said, speaking on the same panel. “If you want to succeed, to compete against China and the U.S., you need to have -- which is a taboo right now -- a more federal model, one defense, one foreign policy, one minister of finance.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Christian Baumgaertel in Munich at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net, Cindy Roberts in Zurich at croberts100@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elisa Martinuzzi at emartinuzzi@bloomberg.net, Andrew Blackman

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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