Monday 20 May 2019

Big banks ‘preparing to move London jobs abroad’ due to Brexit uncertainty

Senior banking executives are growing increasingly fearful about whether the Government will secure a transitional arrangement.

CBI annual conference
CBI annual conference

By Tess de la Mare, Press Association

Banking giants have reportedly warned the US government they could be forced to start moving thousands of jobs out of London within months due to uncertainty over Brexit.

A consortium of banks including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and HSBC warned US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross that they might start moving staff abroad in the near future, the Financial Times said.

Senior executives blamed lack of clarity over whether the Government will secure a transition deal to help them navigate the change in financial regulation after the UK leaves the EU.

The paper said the banks also outlined their concern that they had received no clear indication of what the final Brexit deal might look like at the closed-door meeting during Mr Ross’s visit to London on Friday.

Without this clarity, they told Mr Ross they would move chunks of their operations to the US or other EU cities.

Possible contingency plans have been debated by banks since before the EU vote, but the discussions have become increasingly urgent, a source told the FT.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the Corporation of London, which is the City’s local government, told the FT “the fear of a crash-out is rising”.

She said the next three months could prove the tipping point for many banks for their future operations in London, adding: “We really shouldn’t understate or underestimate what a critical moment we’re at for this sector.”

Press Association

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