Exodus and Numbers
In the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum, doom-mongers had already written off the UK financial sector, and calculations were being made over whether the tech sector could pick up the slack. Since then, the manifest challenges of repatriating the finance industry have been drawn into sharper relief, together with a general reluctance by the big banks to effect moves. Furthermore, time has allowed a period of reflection around potential workarounds, in spite of passporting rights looking less likely to materialise after the transition period. This week a Reuters survey of 119 firms reveals that the number of forecast financial job relocations has halved relative to expectations just 6 months ago and that London will now ‘comfortably remain’ Europe’s largest financial centre post-Brexit and a top contender on the global stage. Nevertheless, Paris’s targeting advertising appears to have paid off relative to its continental counterparts, as an increasing share of any relocations will now likely land there. As the EU negotiations and positioning start to appear more positive, eyes should perhaps look further afield. We are exiting the bloc and looking to negotiate terms with new partners at a time of increased global protectionism and tough talk on trade.