Ever since the days of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s financial sector has been one of the biggest industries in the United Kingdom, and over the decades, it has only grown stronger. Brexit, which could potentially wreak havoc with the economy and several industries in the country, has not been able to create much panic in the financial industry. According to a survey conducted by Reuters, the finance industry remains largely untroubled with the implications of a chaotic Brexit.
Ever since Leave won in the Brexit Referendum back in June 2016, there have been dark predictions about the flight of jobs and London’s loss of stature as one of the world’s most important financial cities. However, none of that has actually come to pass. It is a great sign of confidence from the stakeholders considering the panic that has gripped other industries which are bracing for the disastrous possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit as the clock winds down on the March 29 deadline. A ‘no deal’ Brexit implies the situation in which UK leaves the European Union (EU) without an agreement.
According to the survey, the financial services industry believes that around 2000 jobs are going to be moved overseas even if the country finds is not able to reach an agreement with the EU. The figure is far lower than the expected job losses that were predicted in the same survey back in September of 2017. At the time, it was believed that around 10000 jobs would need to be moved. In addition to that, the same figure in September 2018 stood at a worrying 5766 jobs, but the latest survey shows that the industry is far more resilient than it was even a few months ago.
The confidence stems from the fact that most bankers believe that despite the panic, a deal will eventually be reached with the EU and hence, the possibility of relocating jobs is shelved for now. The Reuters survey chose respondents from as many as 132 of the globally focused banks, asset management firms, insurers, and private equity firms in the UK. Those firms employ around .5% of the total number of workers in the industry.
Last but not the least, the mayor of London’s storied financial district, the City, Catherine McGuinness stated that the long term implications are unknown and the financial industry will eventually find a way to go about its business. She said, “It will be a slow burn. We won’t know what the full impact will look like for at least 10 years. But the City is always changing, and it will find a way to thrive.”