LONDON (Reuters) – As few as 630 UK-based finance jobs have been shifted or created overseas so far ahead of Brexit, while the number of jobs that UK-based financial institutions said they expected to move in the event of a “hard” Brexit is 5,766, a Reuters survey shows.
Workers are seen crossing London Bridge with The Shard seen behind during the morning rush hour in London, Britain, September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Nearly all of the financial companies that responded to Reuters third survey on Brexit-related staff moves said that while they continue to plan for the worst-case scenario, they are shifting as few jobs as possible, hoping for a last-minute political deal that protects access after Britain leaves the European Union on March 29, 2019.
Reuters approached 169 banks, asset managers, insurers, ratings agencies and exchanges with UK operations on their plans and received answers from 134, against 119 in March, when respondents predicted 5,275 jobs would move.
The numbers of respondents are different because some companies who responded in March did not do so this time, while others were included in the survey for the first time.
The first Reuters survey in September 2017, which collated answers from 123 firms, indicated 9,777 roles would be affected.
The survey was conducted by email and telephone between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15. A total of 65 banks responded, along with 32 insurers and insurance brokers and 32 asset managers, two exchanges and three ratings agencies.
Ninety-seven of the companies that responded said they would have to move staff or restructure their businesses because of Brexit, although only 63 specified numbers. The rest said it would have no impact, that they were still deciding what to do or they declined to comment.
Many participants declined to comment on several questions. Some participants also asked for the information to be part of an aggregate only, which is why Reuters has not published the complete data.
The respondents included the 20 investment banks that earned the most fees from investment banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2016, according to Thomson Reuters’ data.
The insurers who responded to the survey included the largest listed insurers in Britain, along with large European Union and non-EU insurers operating in Britain, major insurance brokers and listed and unlisted insurers with an international focus, such as those operating in the Lloyd’s of London market.
The asset managers who responded included many of the global managers who use the UK as a base in Europe, as well as most of the leading British firms.
Survey participants were asked if Brexit would mean new jobs moved or created in the European Union by March 2019, how many had already been moved or created, and what other steps they were taking.
They were also asked how many UK employees they currently have.
The employee numbers totaled 482,267 and included 359,357 employed by banks, 91,797 by insurers and 29,841 by asset managers.
The 32 banks who gave figures when asked the question about how many jobs would be affected by Brexit said they expected 5,213 jobs to be moved or created in the EU, although just 580 had been so far.
Sixteen insurers answered the question by saying they expected 204 roles to be created elsewhere in the EU, in total, of which 30 had been so far. Fifteen asset managers who gave the information saw 349 jobs in total being created, of which 20 had already been moved or created.
There are 317 banks registered in Britain, according to the Bank of England, although that includes the domestic-focused subsidiaries of many larger banks as well as many smaller lenders that earn the bulk of their revenue in Britain so won’t be affected so much by Brexit.
There are 443 UK authorized insurers, according to the Bank of England, though many larger firms have more than one authorization. Many UK insurers also have a purely domestic focus, insurance specialists say.
While the asset managers contacted account for the lion’s share of the assets managed in Britain, there remains a long tail of smaller managers registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, a figure it currently puts at 1,840 firms.
Reporting by Simon Jessop, Andrew MacAskill, Carolyn Cohn and Jonathan Saul in London, Noor Zainab Hussein in Bangalore, Suzanne Barlyn in New York; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall