has said it would move much of its European business out of London if Britain leaves the European Union
.The warning from the world's most powerful investment bank comes as political pressure for Britain to leave the EU mounts.
David Cameron has committed to holding a referendum on Britain's membership if the Conservatives win the next election and some Tory MPs have been agitating for an early vote on the matter.
Michael Sherwood, co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs International, said: "In all likelihood we would transfer a substantial part of our European business from London to a eurozone location – the most obvious contenders being Paris and Frankfurt."
The City of London became the hub for international financial companies as they went global in the late 1980s. The financial sector is supported by a large network of law firms, accountants and other support services that employ millions.
International banks such as Goldman and Morgan Stanley employ thousands in Britain working on projects and trading assets across Europe
. Goldman employs 6,000 of its 7,000 European staff in the UK.
Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles said Sherwood's comments to Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung showed there would be big job losses in Britain's financial sector if the UK left the EU.
"Leaving would mean losing unfettered access to the single market and influence over its rules. That would inevitably make a lot of banks reconsider whether to locate their business here, dealing a major blow to the UK economy just as it begins to show signs of recovery.
"We cannot simply stand by and let the eurosceptics throw our economic recovery away. That's why it is so important that businesses are making their voices heard and
contributing to the debate."
Goldman has argued in the past that Britain needs to stay in the EU for London to maintain its position as the continent's financial centre. It has said that any shift would be gradual but that inevitably operations would move to other countries that would build up the support industries required.
The City of London Corporation, which governs the City, has said leaving the EU is a constant worry for financial institutions based in London. A recent CBI poll found that nearly 80% of UK businesses supported membership.