It appears that enough members of parliament understand that what was a tainted as project fear by pro Brexiteers is actually the reality of Brexit. But if they are in any doubt the last week has revealed how the UK’s financial services and fintech industries are being hit, even before Brexit has happened.
Hot on the heels of the worrying figures from London & Partners, which revealed a massive drop in tech investment in London, Stephen Jones, head of UK Finance, said London is losing its reputation as Europe’s leading financial services hub.
News last week that tech investment into London dropped about 30%, a whopping £700m, last year while cities like Paris and Berlin grew significantly provides statistical evidence that the Brexit uncertainty and the concept of a no deal Brexit is harming UK fintech.
This week we have anecdotal evidence of London’s decline from the head of an organisation that represents UK financial services firms.
UK Finance’s Stephen Jones was talking to Channel Four news and he was not holding back.
Asked if Brexit has diminished London’s position in the world, he said yes.
“I think regrettably it has, particularly in a European context. London as the European financial centre appears to most us to be – frankly – quietly – over. We’ll do our best to retain what we can, within the context of what’s negotiated, no-deal or a deal. But Frankfurt and Paris will become much more important financial centres in a European context.”
As I said he didn’t hold back: “A no-deal Brexit on 29 March, where we crash out of European Union, is a catastrophe. It’s a social catastrophe, it’s an economic catastrophe. And by implication it is a catastrophe for the industry I represent, the banking industry.”
Read the full interview here.