Brexit uncertainty cuts new finance jobs in London by a third
Britain's forthcoming exit from the EU was the main reason for a 37pc decline in new jobs available in London's financial sector last month, according to a report from recruiting firm Morgan McKinley.
Financial services jobs new to the market in December fell to 3,150 from 4,980 in December 2016, the report said, as uncertainty around the terms of Britain's exit from the EU made companies in the city reluctant to hire. "Brexit clobbered the City's workforce in 2017. Anyone sticking it out into 2018 is in it for the long haul," said Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services.
Around 10,000 finance jobs will be shifted out of Britain or created overseas in the next few years if the country is denied access to Europe's single market, according to a Reuters survey of firms employing the bulk of international finance staff.
British Prime Minister Theresa May met financiers from firms including Goldman Sachs yesterday to discuss the impact of Brexit on Europe's financial capital, as London's mayor said Britain could face a "lost decade" of low growth and investment.
London's future as Europe's premier financial hub is one of the biggest issues in Brexit talks because the sector is Britain's biggest source of corporate tax revenue.
Many banks, insurers and other financial firms are likely to be forced to move jobs if as expected Britain loses the EU 'passport' mechanism that allows them to sell their products freely within the bloc from London.
The Morgan McKinley report is one of the starkest data points yet showing how hiring has slowed as firms struggle to get clarity on what access they will have to Europe's financial markets following Brexit.
The report also showed a decline in people seeking employment in the financial sector, as the number of jobseekers in finance fell 30pc year-on-year in December to 4,594.
Mrs May met financiers from companies including Barclays, Goldman Sachs and HSBC at Downing Street to discuss the impact of Brexit on Europe's financial capital.
Barclays CEO Jes Staley told Mrs May that the UK's tax regime is uncompetitive and more could be done to make Britain more attractive as the UK government negotiates Brexit,
As Mrs May plots Britain's course for Brexit, London's vast financial services industry is scrambling to prepare for losing access to the world's biggest trading bloc - the City of London's biggest challenge since at least the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
Mrs May reportedly told executives from the financial services firms that they are a priority in the upcoming Brexit talks with the EU.
"It was an encouraging, positive meeting," a banker briefed on the talks told Reuters.
"It felt like the meeting was about telling the finance industry 'you are a priority for us'."
Last year bankers complained that they were not being listened to by Mrs May's government as Britain prepared for Brexit.
It comes as a report commissioned by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan found that Britain could lose almost 500,000 jobs if it failed to agree a trade deal with the European Union.
It would also lose out on around £50bn worth of investment. (Reuters)