The City is grappling with barriers to attracting the globe’s top financial talent as a result of overly-burdensome post-Brexit immigration rules.
So says the City’s chief lobby group, The CityUK, which has today called on the government to waive visas for highly skilled workers entering the UK to do short term work in the financial services industry.
Miles Celic, chief executive of The CityUK, said: “The UK is host to one of the world’s leading financial centres and the industry is a strategic national asset which allows Britain to compete at the global level.”
“But to stay competitive, we must have the best global talent. Without it, we will not be able to innovate in key growth areas like FinTech or green finance, nor build out our international trading networks.”
The UK’s financial services sector relies heavily on international workers, highlighting the need to create a post-Brexit immigration system that does not disincentivise them from coming to London.
Almost one in five financial services workers in the UK are international, rising to 42 per cent in the fintech sector.
The calls come as London was recently ranked as the best financial services hub in Europe and second in the world – behind only New York – in Z/Yen group’s global financial centres index.
Proposals to strengthen the City’s position were outlined in a report published by The CityUK in collaboration with consultancy EY and the City of London Corporation.
Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “The UK’s ability to access deep pools of highly skilled and talented workers is at the heart of its competitive advantage. To preserve this position in financial and professional services, we should continue to welcome highly skilled immigration.”
The government has yielded to the road haulage and poultry sectors in relaxing visa rules for a combined 10,500 workers to help tackle worker shortages.