JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon believes that more jobs than previously expected may have to be moved out of the UK as a result of Britain leaving the EU.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dimon told Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait that following Theresa May’s speech on Tuesday, the bank could be forced into shifting staff elsewhere in Europe, or to its New York offices because the UK is leaning toward a so-called “Hard Brexit.”
“It looks like there will be more job movement than we’d hoped for,” Dimon said.
Where staff move will depend “what the law is,” he added. “We simply have to accommodate the laws of the land both in Britain and the EU, and that will determine how many jobs, and how many people, and how many things have to move.”
JP Morgan has previously warned that as many as 4,000 staff could be moved out of the UK in the event of Brexit, and Dimon said on Wednesday that the actual number could be “more, it could be less, depending on what’s negotiated.”
He was clear that JP Morgan does not want to move staff out of the UK, but that it may have no other choice. “We don’t want to. It’s not a threat, it’s a fact,” he told Micklethwait.
“If the UK leaves the EU, we may have no choice but to reorganise our business model here,” Dimon told staff at the bank around three weeks before the referendum on June 23. That prediction now appears to be coming true.
JP Morgan first opened in Britain 150 years ago and now employs 16,000 people across six sites: Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, and Swindon.
Passporting rights allow UK-based financial firms to access clients across the continent via branches and many international firms are readying plans to counter their loss — something that is more likely than ever because of May’s assertion that Britain will be leaving the European Single Market. Leaving the single market is a practical guarantee that the UK will lose its financial passporting ability.
Earlier on Wednesday, HSBC’s chief executive Stuart Gulliver told Micklethwait that bankers who bring in as much as one-fifth of the bank’s revenue may be relocated.
“Specifically what will happen is those activities covered specifically by European financial regulation will need to move, looking at our own numbers — that’s about 20% of the revenue,” he said.