'Hard Brexit' fears to blame as the number of finance jobs in London drops 17% in February

LondonCharles Clark/Business InsiderThe sun is setting on the City of London

LONDON — The number of new available jobs in the the UK’s financial centre fell 17% in February year-on-year to 6,945, according to a survey by Morgan McKinley.

The number of people seeking jobs dropped by a huge 38% from February 2016, while month-on-month the number of fresh open positions decreased by 23% in February.

Those who did find new jobs in February got an average of a 19% pay rise.

In July, the month after the June Brexit vote, the survey reported that the number of new City jobs plunged 27% while the number of people seeking them dropped 13%.

“Brexit has pushed institutions into two camps,” said Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, adding: “On one side we’ve got the ‘business as usual’ team, and on the other we have the institutions that are tired of the government’s hemming and hawing and have already begun to move jobs to other EU countries. It’s the latter group that’s contributed to the quarter drop in jobs available.”

Here is the chart of new jobs:

“There’s a chance we’ll see a post Article 50 uptick in April, just as we did post-Brexit,” he said. “But the data suggests that Brexit has had a fundamental depressing effect on City jobs. We’ve already witnessed, what was a handful of jobs leaving, become hundreds. How long before we’re looking at losing thousands, even millions?”

Brexit, and the future status of London as the European Union’s financial centre, has been the main focus for those entering the City’s job market.

Prime minister Theresa May’s government has raised the possibility of a so-called “Hard Brexit,” which prioritises immigration control over membership of the European single market.

Such a move would also lead to the automatic loss of the City of London’s EU financial passport. The loss of passporting rights would be devastating to the City of London. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said earlier this year that 5,500 UK companies rely on passporting rights, with a combined turnover of £9 billion. 

HSBC, JPMorgan, and UBS have all warned about job relocations. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, told Bloomberg at Davos that the bank will likely move more people than previously thought. “It looks like there will be more job movement than we hoped for,” Dimon said. The bank employs 16,000 people in the UK. 


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