Job vacancies in the banking sector have dropped by 18% since the UK voted to leave the EU, according to new figures.
The data, released by recruitment site Reed, shows that banking saw the biggest annual contraction of job listings out of any sector following the Brexit vote.
It suggests employers are holding off recruitment until prime minister Theresa May makes it clear whether she will end financial passporting rights as part of a “Hard Brexit.”
Financial passporting allows banks and financial services companies to operate across Europe using their local licences, rather than being regulated in each market it operates in across Europe. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said earlier this year that 5,500 companies with a combined turnover of £9 billion rely on passporting rights. Goldman Sachs could relocate 2,000 jobs to elsewhere in Europe if it loses passporting rights and UBS and JPMorgan have both warned of similar job moves.
However, Reed’s overall job figures are more positive. The number of jobs advertised on the site — the UK’s largest — between July and September increased by 9% on the same quarter last year to 280,000. That figure is the highest since the financial crash and recession of 2008.
Industrial sectors, including motoring & automotive (+27%) and manufacturing (+24%), saw some of the strongest growth.
James Reed, chairman of Reed, said that the overall outlook is positive. “The UK jobs market is continuing to show resilience in the face of ongoing uncertainty over what Brexit will actually look like,” he said in an emailed statement.
“We’ve seen a record number of new jobs available on reed.co.uk this week after strong annual growth throughout the third quarter.
“Clearly, British businesses have held firm and continued with their plans to recruit. The biggest growth has been seen in the motoring & automotive, manufacturing and retail sectors, perhaps driven by the lower exchange rate,” he added.
“However, banking and finance continue to decline and this is having an effect on growth in London and the South East. It’s essential the government now gives greater clarity on its negotiating position for Brexit to underpin confidence in the jobs market. Business leaders are already working hard to counter the potential impact of leaving the EU and they must know that the government is listening.”