Brexit uncertainty slashes new finance jobs in London by a third
Britain’s upcoming exit from the EU was the main reason for a 37% drop in new jobs available in London’s financial sector last month, according to a report by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley.
New financial services jobs on the market in December fell to 3,150 from 4,980 in December 2016, the report said, as uncertainty surrounding the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU made city businesses reluctant to hire. “Brexit crushed the city’s workforce in 2017. Anyone who holds out until 2018 is here for the long haul,” said Hakan Enver, chief operating officer at Morgan McKinley Financial Services.
Around 10,000 finance jobs will be moved out of Britain or created overseas over the next few years if the country is denied access to Europe’s single market, according to a Reuters survey of companies employing the major part of the international financial staff.
British Prime Minister Theresa May met financiers from firms such as Goldman Sachs yesterday to discuss the impact of Brexit on European finance capital, as the Mayor of London said Britain could face a “lost decade” of low growth and investment.
London’s future as Europe’s leading financial center is one of the main issues in the Brexit negotiations, as the sector is the biggest source of corporate tax revenue in Britain.
Many banks, insurers and other financial firms will likely be forced to displace jobs if, as expected, Britain loses the EU’s ‘passport’ mechanism that allows them to freely sell their products within the bloc from London .
The Morgan McKinley report is one of the most striking data points to date, showing how hiring has slowed as companies struggle to get clarity on what access they will have to European capital markets after Brexit.
The report also showed a drop in the number of people looking for jobs in the financial sector, with the number of finance job seekers falling 30% year-on-year in December to 4,594.
Ms May met financiers from firms such as Barclays, Goldman Sachs and HSBC in Downing Street to discuss the impact of Brexit on Europe’s financial capital.
Barclays CEO Jes Staley told Ms May that Britain’s tax regime was uncompetitive and that more could be done to make Britain more attractive as the UK government negotiated Brexit,
As Mrs May charts Britain’s path to Brexit, London’s vast financial services sector is scrambling to prepare for losing access to the world’s largest trading bloc – the city’s biggest challenge. London since at least the financial crisis of 2007-2009.
Ms May reportedly told executives of financial services firms they were a priority in upcoming Brexit talks with the EU.
“It was an encouraging and positive meeting,” a banker briefed on the talks told Reuters.
“It felt like the meeting was about telling the financial industry ‘you are a priority for us’.”
Last year bankers complained they were not being listened to by Mrs May’s government as Britain braced for Brexit.
It comes as a report commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan found Britain could lose nearly 500,000 jobs if it fails to strike a trade deal with the European Union.
It would also lose around £50 billion in investment. (Reuters)