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More than 7,500 finance jobs leave Britain for Europe following Brexit talks

Kumutha Ramanathan
·2-min read

Watch: More than 7,500 finance jobs leave Britain for Europe following Brexit talks

More than 7,500 finance jobs and a trillion pounds in assets have left Britain for the European Union, said consultants EY on Thursday.

The exodus by banks follows fears of a full-blown Brexit in January as the UK transitions out of the EU.

Banks, insurers and asset managers have created new or expanded existing hubs in the single market to serve clients as the transition gets underway so that if future access is limited once the transition arrangements expire on 31 December, customers’s needs will still be met.

Despite the news, the movement of jobs and assets is a fraction of total jobs and assets held in Britain's financial sector.

There could still be more staff and operational announcements in the weeks before the year end, said Omar Ali, UK financial services managing partner at EY, who was discussing the latest results from the firm’s quarterly Financial Services Brexit Tracker.

A man walks into the JP Morgan headquarters at Canary Wharf in London May 11, 2012.  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo    GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE - SEARCH "BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD JULY 11" FOR ALL IMAGES
More than 7,500 finance jobs and a trillion pounds in assets have already left Britain for the European Union, according to EY. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

“Firms must now ensure that as a minimum they will be operational and can serve clients on the 1st of January 2021,” Ali said.

Banks and other institutions have been making contingency plans since the UK voted to leave the EU on 23 June 2016.

On the heels of that news, consultancy Oliver Wyman estimated that around 3,500 jobs would be lost even if the UK retained close links to Europe and as many as 75,000 finance jobs could be lost in a hard Brexit scenario.

Former London Stock Exchange CEO Xavier Rolet said LSE customers simply “would not wait” for clarity over Britain’s divorce from the EU before moving and that over 200,000 City of London jobs could also go.

WATCH: What is a no-deal Brexit?

READ MORE: European markets open higher as Brexit talks resume

In September, EY had reported just 1,000 jobs had left the City of London since Britain voted to leave the EU. At the time, the numbers were far below earlier estimates made of the damage Brexit would do to the UK finance sector.

Among the banks making big moves out of the UK is JPMorgan (JPM), which recently announced it would $230bn (£175.89bn) in assets to Germany, making it one of the country’s largest banks.