Thousands of finance jobs leave London for EU

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, many sources speculated that the move could trigger an exodus of finance jobs out of the country. Two years after the Brexit process was finalized, research suggests that thousands of roles have indeed left the City.

In the extended fallout from the 2016 referendum result, it is predicted that increasing numbers of groups will begin to leave the UK in anticipation of a hard Brexit which will most likely be hostile to their needs. These included migrant workers, NHS staff, prospective students, graduates, manufacturers and many more. Thanks to their financial weight, however, the most important aspect of this “Brexodus” forecast was the financial services sector.

This included the UK government confirming to the Bank of England that some 5,000 jobs could leave the financial services sector alone. Two years after the Brexit climax, however, new research from EY has suggested that this forecast was actually an underestimate.

According to the firm Big Four, more than 7,000 jobs in finance have been transferred from London to the European Union following Brexit. And financial firms suggested to EY in 2016 that they could move 12,500 jobs to the mainland after the changes – far more than were left so far – EY added that more could follow .

In the latest edition of EY’s Brexit Tracker, Brexit-related hires across Europe stood at 2,900, compared to 2,500 in Britain, where just over a million people work in the sector financial services. In the coming months, the exodus could accelerate, as regulatory issues prompt more jobs to migrate overseas. The European Central Bank is expected to lobby EU Brexit hubs opened by banks that have used London as a European base – and check whether they have enough staff to justify their new licenses.

Omar Ali, Head of Financial Services for the EMEIA region at EY, said: “The movement of people and operations in European financial markets will continue as businesses navigate the current geopolitical uncertainty, post-pandemic dynamics and regulatory requirements.”

Currently, Dublin remains the most popular destination for staff relocations and new hubs. The Irish capital has emerged as the surprise favorite for financial institutions transferring resources from the UK, ahead of Luxembourg, Frankfurt and Paris. Meanwhile, the transfer of assets from London to EU hubs remains around £1.3 trillion.

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