(Bloomberg) -- A senior Barclays Plc investment banker said investors are rapidly moving away from risk assets due to concerns about an escalation in the Middle East conflict.

“The elevated geopolitical risk in the Middle East, that has been evident over the course of the last four or five months, has really come to the fore,” Stephen Dainton, head of investment bank management for the British lender, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Singapore. “You will see this flight to safety continue.”

Treasuries advanced with the dollar Friday and stocks across Asia declined. Israel struck targets in Iran less than a week after Tehran’s rocket and drone barrage, according to two US officials. 

Dainton was promoted to his current role in February as part of Chief Executive Officer C.S. Venkatakrishnan’s broad revamp of his top management team. In addition to his role in the investment bank, he’s also president of Barclays Bank Plc.

“They are defaulting to safety,” Dainton said. “You will see a continuation of that evolving during the course of the next four or five weeks as more details come out as to what’s actually happened today.”

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.