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A survey of thousands of financial services workers has revealed that 31% of them think their employer might move operations out of the UK as a result of Brexit, which would see thousands of IT jobs at risk in London.
According to Business Insider UK, the survey of 5,000 people, carried out by Morgan McKinley, said there is a concern that the UK could lose passporting rights, as well as access to the EU workforce.
“With this becoming a fundamental topic of the pending negotiations, we surveyed employers to see if they had any intention of relocating their business abroad, either in parts or in its entirety. Almost half (48%) said no, while 31% confirmed this would either be the case or at least a strong possibility.”
The survey also revealed that 68% of these workers were against Brexit.
The UK has a huge financial services sector, with the London economy highly dependent on a large number of banks. Under the prospect of Brexit, however, banks could lose their rights to trade across Europe through a system known as passporting, and might choose to relocate to one of the EU’s member countries.
If banks leave the UK, it would have a huge impact on IT recruitment, which has already been decimated by the offshoring of IT jobs by banks.
Areas such as Luxembourg might be attractive, as well as Dublin and even Scotland if Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon’s efforts to keep Scotland in the EU succeed.
Much depends on what comes of negotiations between the UK and the EU.
“[If banks retain passporting rights], London remains the global centre it always has been and nothing changes. If [Europe removes passporting rights], then most banks will need to relocate to Europe and will probably choose Dublin,” Chris Skinner, chairman of Financial Services Club said in a June 2016 blog post, just after the result of the referendum on the UK’s EU membership.