Financial Uncertainty

How to Kill a Financial Hub

London banks-Bloomberg
Troubled skies in a troubled financial hub.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The significance of London as one of the most important financial centers in the world is certain to decline in post-Brexit Britain.

  • Facts


    • Britain’s financial sector employs 2.2 million people and accounts for a 12 percent share of the country’s economic output.
    • One study estimates that Britain’s departure from the European Union could cost up to 100,000 jobs.
    • Banks will be severely affected by the loss of their so-called passport rights, which enable banks headquartered in London to do business in other E.U. countries with little red tape.
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A banker who works for a foreign lender in the City of London and who asked to remain anonymous, told Handelsblatt he still hopes not much will change. But he admits it’s wishful thinking.

“Today is day four after the Brexit vote. It should slowly be seeping into my brain that the majority of the British have decided to leave the E.U., and have therefore opted for a somewhat gloomy future,” he said. “But somehow I still hope that it won’t get that far and I won’t have to put together a plan B for my professional future. But that’s probably an erroneous assumption.”

Hoping that some of the consequences can be averted is one reaction in the British financial sector to the Britons’ decision to turn their backs on the European Union. But there is also another reaction: A number of bankers have already contacted headhunters.

“As of the end of last week, we have received more CVs from bankers indicating that they want to change jobs,” said one recruitment consultant. “The prospects of being placed are now declining from one day to the next, because it’s already clear the supply of jobs will decrease while demand will rise.”

The financial sector is one of the most important industries in Great Britain. Some 2.2 million people work at banks, investment companies and their service providers. They account for a 12 percent share of the country’s economic output.

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