Lockdowns Delay London’s Brexit Banker Departures, EY Says
(Bloomberg) -- The difficulties of relocating staff during a pandemic has postponed some finance jobs from moving out of London and into the European Union, according to EY.
“Travel restrictions over the last two years have challenged the practicalities of relocation,” said Omar Ali, head of financial services for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa at EY. “Depending on the trajectory of the omicron variant and its impact on international travel in the short term, delayed moves should pick up over the coming year, not least due to ongoing pressure from EU regulators.”
EY’s Financial Services Brexit Tracker found that while there was an increase in the proportion of firms planning to move some U.K.-based employees or operations to the EU, the actual number of job move announcements has fallen year-on-year. About 44% of the 222 financial services firms covered in the survey have moved or plan to move staff from Britain to the EU, up from 41% in January 2020.
The survey found that number of new hires across the EU and U.K. linked to Brexit since the withdrawal referendum stood at a little over 5,000, of which about 2,800 were in the EU, against 2,200 in the U.K.
“For many financial services firms, we are still far from being fully ‘post-Brexit’,” said Ali. “It’s been nearly a year since the U.K. officially left the European Union, but the financial sector is still working through the hangover of Brexit.”
Still, the survey’s estimate of the total number of job relocations suffered by the City of London fell slightly to 7,400 from 7,600 after some of the largest investment banks located in the U.K. revised down the number of roles they will relocate to the continent to serve the needs of clients.
Such shifts remain well short of some estimates made since the Brexit vote. Think-tank Bruegel said in 2018 that London could ultimately lose 10,000 banking jobs and 20,000 roles in the financial services industry.
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