The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments has warned that one million UK financial services jobs “are threatened” by a lack of leadership on the question of Brexit.
The key challenge facing the sector is the lack of what Cisi terms “a loud, visible champion communicator”. Additionally, according to the Institute’s view carried in its own quarterly membership magazine The Review, the lack of a voice representing the industry should be seen in context of the sector being one of the most important for the UK economy at a time when “other EU financial centres are salivating at the real prospect of attracting business away from the UK.”
And while financial institutions and advisory firms have been contacting their customers to reassure them over Brexit, there is still a gaping hole in “public leadership” for the sector.
“The financial services sector urgently needs an articulate, communicative leader who should be highly visible. He or she should have been giving press interviews, appearing on TV and radio and exploiting social media to the hilt with a constant message, promoting financial services, calming nervous employees and customers, setting out what is needed in future negotiations and expanding on the positive opportunities ahead,” according to The Review.
“The last time there was a major uncertainty in the financial sector was in 2007. Then, Angela Knight, the passionate, energetic former head of the British Bankers Association and de facto spokesman for the banking and finance sector, was everywhere. On some days she carried the industry’s standard in more than a dozen media interviews. She was regularly on panels and live TV debates, always putting forward the industry’s perspective and plans, giving direction and pushing the case for the sector.”
“Where are all the trade bodies, corporations, local Members of Parliament and other organisations that represent the constituent parts of financial services?”
Simon Culhane, Cisi chief executive said: “There are strong winds from Europe now, threatening our sector. Our industry’s one million employees deserve more than fair weather leaders; they deserve men and women who will step up to the plate quickly. If our present captains are not prepared to chart our course to a successful Brexit, as our new prime minister and her ‘Ministry for Brexit’ will rightly demand, we – and she – must find and welcome others who are prepared to do so, and quickly.”