Tuesday 5 February 2019 9:53 am

Weathering the storm: City expects minimal Brexit impact on jobs

The number of City jobs expected to move overseas in the event of a hard Brexit has fallen to just 2,000 – according to the latest survey of financial institutions. A Reuters study also suggests that investment banks are planning to increase their London headcount.

In September, the Reuters survey showed that 5,766 jobs would move if the UK left the EU without a deal, while 10,000 were anticipated in the first survey in September 2017.

Read more: Barclays gets go-ahead to shift £160bn to Dublin amid Brexit uncertainty

The latest results, showing a significant drop in the number of potential job moves, are based on responses from 132 of the biggest or most internationally-focused banks, insurers, asset managers, private equity firms and insurers in the City. 

The figures are in stark contrast to the warnings made during and immediately after the referendum, when consultants Oliver Wyman claimed that up to 75,000 jobs could leave the City, while the London Stock Exchange suggested that more than 230,000 jobs were at risk.

More investment banking jobs are also expected to be created in London than anywhere else in Europe, a separate Reuters survey showed.

However, last week Barclays was given the go-ahead to transfer £160bn of assets to its Irish business as the bank said it could “not wait any longer” to implement its no-deal Brexit strategy.

“We haven’t seen substantial job losses in financial services materialise yet. However, these are early days,” City of London Corporation policy chair Catherine McGuinness told City A.M. last week.

“Firms are watching closely to see if a way can be found through the current Brexit impasse. This will play an important role in determining whether we see more jobs and assets move to the continent after we leave the EU.”

Read more: Standard Chartered executive warning over Brexit jobs exodus

It was revealed earlier this month that London’s financial services companies have moved hundreds of billions of pounds worth of assets to EU centres.

Research by EY found that 20 firms had announced a transfer of assets out of London amounting to nearly £800bn, enabling them to serve EU-focused clients regardless of the outcome of Brexit talks.