The mass exodus of workers from the City to the Continent after Brexit has failed to materialise, blowing gloomy forecasts about London’s place in the global finance community out of the water, reveals a fresh study published today.
Finance firms based in the Square Mile have slashed the number of staff they were intending on relocating to the EU, indicating London remains the one of the most attractive places to do business on the Continent even after Brexit.
The number of Brexit-related staff relocations was revised down to 7,000 over the last quarter from 7,400 in the three months to December, according to consultancy EY, which has been tracking the impact of leave vote on the financial services sector since 2016.
Most firms made their decision on how to restructure their workforce ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020.
As a result, staff movement in Britain’s financial services sector has broadly stabilised over the last year.
London is leading the recruitment drive among banks, fund managers and insurers after Brexit, EY said.
“The number of new hires which have been publicly linked to Brexit since the referendum… has risen to 5,400, from just over 5,000 last quarter,” the firm said, adding “the increase is predominantly driven by an uptick in the number of staff hired in London.”
There was concern that the City would become a less attractive place to do business after Brexit as a result of London-based firms having to jump through more hoops to trade with EU-based companies.
Greater clarity over the UK’s trading relationship with the bloc led finance firms to pare back their plans for staff relocations.
“As firms gained greater clarity on what the post-Brexit landscape would look like, plans were consolidated and, in some cases, firms revised down the number of people they would need to relocate,” Omar Ali, EMEIA financial services leader at EY, said.