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UK’s financial services industry unscathed from Brexit build-up, states Reuters survey

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A new Reuters survey has stated that Britain’s financial services industry has emerged largely unscathed so far from the build-up to Brexit

The survey did add however, that about 2,000 roles are expected to have moved or have been created overseas even as the risk of a disorderly exit has grown.

Many bankers and politicians predicted Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum would prompt a mass exodus of jobs and business and deal a crippling blow to London’s position in global finance.

The total number of jobs that UK-based financial institutions stated that they expected to shift overseas has fallen steeply from the 5,766 predicted to move in the event of a no-deal Brexit in the last survey in September.

This new estimate is about a fifth of the 10,000 flagged in the first survey in September 2017. A no-deal Brexit would mean Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement on trade. 

Currently, the UK is on track for such a scenario because a deal that gives London and Brussels a 21-month transition period to negotiate a trading relationship is at risk of collapse.

Most bankers, however, have remained confident that a compromise will be hammered out. They are waiting to see what will be agreed and what the relationship will be, before making any final decisions about relocations.

The survey results are based on answers from 132 of the biggest or most internationally-focused banks, insurers, asset managers, private equity firms and exchanges to a survey conducted between January 3 and January 28. 

The jobs are equivalent to 0.5% of the 400,000 people who work in financial services in London. 

Meanwhile, top investment banks plan to hire far more people in London than anywhere else in Europe, indicating they expect Britain will remain their main regional hub, at least in the short term, a separate Reuters survey showed. 

“It will be a slow burn. We won’t know what the full impact will look like for at least 10 years,” said Catherine McGuinness, the de facto political leader of the municipal body that helps to run London’s financial district, known as the City. 

“But the City is always changing and it will find a way to thrive,” she added. 

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