This summer a London-based banker revealed to me that he was trying to purchase flats in Singapore and Zurich. That was not, he insisted, because he personally expected to relocate (he loves his kids’ London school).
But he was so sure that some of his colleagues will drift away from the City in the coming years, that he wanted to make a bet. “I am probably too late,” he confessed. “The time for that trade was a year ago.”
Maybe not. In the past two days, there has been a flurry of furious warnings that London-based bankers will leave the City following Wednesday’s tax bonus news.
I suspect this row misses the bigger point. There are good reasons to think that London’s role in global finance is being undermined. But that reflects more fundamental, structural factors – that go well beyond the bonus news.