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Banks already looking for EU-based IT staff for post-Brexit operations

UK banks already have plans to move some of their operations to the EU, with the search for EU-based IT professionals under way

Banks in the UK have hundreds of people working in teams identifying where in the EU to relocate operations in preparation for the UK leaving the Single Market.

This includes finding IT staff in the EU, with a rough expected total of 75,000 jobs set to disappear in London – including IT roles.

Finding IT staff in other parts of the EU is one of the tasks of the Brexit teams at banks, Mark Boleat, former City of London corporation chairman told the Guardian. He said that while banks are not publicising their relocation plans, they are nonetheless under way.

“Banks have had teams of 100 working on Brexit and it’s an expensive process,” he said. “You have to identify which city to go to – applying for a [banking] licence costs millions – then you have to find the IT staff, as well as accommodation.”

EU cities including Dublin and Paris are eager to attract bankers. Speaking to Computer Weekly in March, Shane Nolan, senior vice-president of technology at IDA Ireland, which has a role to attract foreign investment to Ireland, said: “Financial services is the most high-profile industry to be affected by Brexit because the re-regulation of banks and financial businesses takes so long.”

“Banks don’t have time to wait and see what the Brexit agreement between the UK and EU is going to be,” he said.

These companies are making moves now. The IDA has brought in about 28 financial institutions of various sizes and profiles since the Brexit vote, and all of these were Brexit-driven.

Read more about the impact of Brexit on IT sector

In October last year, a seemingly innocuous tweet by the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, revealed the risk of London losing out to cities in other European countries as a result of Brexit.

He posted on Twitter after a visit to Frankfurt: “Just left Frankfurt. Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I’ll be spending a lot more time there.”

It’s not just jobs in the traditional banking sector at risk, as tech-fuelled finance startups weigh up their post-Brexit options.

There are risks for UK fintech jobs as a result of the UK leaving the EU. Brexit could mean fintechs decide to move more jobs to EU countries to retain access to the single market and retain the right to sell banking services across the trading block.

Read more on IT for financial services

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