This is more than a simple currency issue, and involves the creation of a single market with a single interest rate, said David Kemp, EMU director of ABN AMRO Bank at the Fleet Show Pan-European Fleet Forum, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and in association with Manheim Europe. Kemp warned that in this environment British-headquartered companies may well migrate their offices to the European mainland to reflect the growing significance of continental business.
'Merger and acquisition fever causes corporates to consider pan-European solutions, and the strength of Sterling makes European acquisitions popular for UK companies,' said Kemp. Such moves could also prompt pan-European fleet consolidation, with no guarantee that UK fleet managers will be responsible for a European fleet operation based on the continent. Kemp advised fleets and suppliers to develop Euro-compatible IT and accounting systems by the end of next year in anticipation of the UK joining EMU in 2002.