Chancellor Philip Hammond has said job losses at banks in the UK after Brexit will be “small”, after earlier calling for the maximum possible reciprocal trade access with the EU.
Multiple international banks have announced they are considering moving jobs out of the UK in recent weeks, with London’s dominant financial services sector under threat.
However, Hammond dismissed claims of swingeing cuts to UK-based jobs, the BBC reports.
“The announcements we have heard this week are about very small numbers by employers who have very large numbers of employees in the UK," he said.
Hammond said: "Banking is a huge sector in the UK, banking and financial services is a huge sector. There are always jobs moving around, thousands of jobs moving from one place to another.”
“There has been a process going on for years of moving back office jobs from London to other cities in the UK, and to cities in other parts of Europe,” he added.
The chancellor described financial services as a “dynamic industry” with “new jobs are being created as well.”
The comments were made on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he has launched a charm offensive towards economic leaders – although mixed with some threats.
In a panel earlier on Friday he called for maximum reciprocal access for UK and EU states to trade with each other. He also tried to present a pragmatic attitude towards the UK's Brexit negotiations, acknowledging the risks, such as price rises to hit the British people.
He said: “We have been very open about the fact that currency depreciation will lead to higher inflation. That’s what the OBR has forecast for this year, and that’s inevitable.”