Nine months on from the Brexit vote, over two-thirds of financial services firms are still yet to publicly state how it will affect them

Hayley Kirton
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The stats have been released on the eve of the Article 50 trigger (Source: Getty)

Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of financial services firms are yet to publicly utter a word about how Brexit will affect them, despite the vote having taken place more than nine months ago, a survey out today has found.

Of the 222 companies tracked by professional services firm EY, only a quarter (23 per cent) have declared that they will be moving some of their staff or operations away from the UK or that they are rethinking where their business should be domiciled in light of the vote.

Meanwhile, seven per cent have stated their commitment to keeping their operations in the UK.

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"Despite some high profile announcements from major financial brands, relatively few financial services firms have spoken publicly about their Brexit contingency plans," said Omar Ali, UK financial services managing partner at EY. "What is clear from those who have done so is that there is no sense of panic.

"While some staff and operations may move to create optionality, the UK's role as a leading global financial services centre means that firms will try to keep the majority of their operations here."

Various voices across the sector have warned the Brexit vote would shake London's standing as a financial capital, particularly if the UK struggled to cling onto valuable rights such as passporting once it was no longer part of the EU.

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A report produced by Oliver Wyman on behalf of leading think tank TheCityUK and published last October warned as many as 75,000 jobs, along with up to £38bn in revenue, could be lost in the event of a so-called hard Brexit.

A number of big name banks have already said they will need to move jobs away from London to ensure they can continue business as usual once the UK is outside the EU.

Asian-focused banking giant HSBC was warning as far back as early 2016 that it would need to move as many as 1,000 investment banking jobs to Paris, depending on what rights the UK was left with post-Brexit.

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Swiss-headquartered lender UBS has also cautioned in recent months it too would need to move around 1,000 jobs out of London, while chairman Axel Weber indicated earlier this month it may start making those moves before the two-year Article 50 process had run its course.

The figures from EY have been released just one day before Prime Minister Theresa May is due to trigger Article 50.

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