Brexit not sparking financial services brain drain: Survey

Just 630 UK finance jobs have moved abroad since the Brexit vote, a Reuters poll found. The figures contrast fears that leaving the EU could badly damage the UK’s financial services sector.

As Brexit nears, Reuters’ poll of 134 financial giants revealed that the number of jobs that UK-based financial institutions say they expect to move in the event of a “hard” Brexit was around 5,800, just 500 more than the last survey in March, and with more firms responding. That compares to around 10,000 in the first survey in September 2017.

International banks, insurers, asset managers, private equity firms and exchanges told Reuters they are moving the lowest number of employees possible, as they hold out for a Brexit deal guaranteeing access to the single market.

However, the prospect of a no deal scenario increased last week as Theresa May’s Chequers plan, which seeks tailored agreements on goods and customs, was rejected by the EU at a summit in Salzburg.

Many bankers and politicians predicted after the June 2016 referendum that leaving the EU would prompt a mass exodus of jobs and business and deal a crippling blow to London’s position in global finance.

In fact, several companies are Brexit-proofing their businesses, as reported by International Investment.

The Square Mile could see up to 12,000 jobs lost in the short-term aftermath of Brexit with thousands more at stake longer term, the City of London Corporation warned.

But Reuters’ survey, conducted over six weeks between August and September, found that London is likely to remain the world’s international financial services hub after Brexit.

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