Special Alert : Number of banking jobs at risk due to Brexit grows
Barclays and UBS join the list of banks to confirm they will move operations to EU countries
UBS president Andrea Orcel has confirmed the bank will be moving some staff from its London offices to an EU country in the wake of plans announced by prime minister Theresa May that the UK will leave the single market.
In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Orcel said the bank has to “anticipate the worst” and that the number of jobs to be transferred will depend on the deal negotiated by May with remaining EU countries. He did not confirm exactly where the jobs would be moved to. “We have flexibility to decide where to go, but we will definitely have to move,” he said.
A number of major global banks are making preparations to move operations from the UK to Europe. CEO of JPMorgan Jamie Dimon has said the bank would move 4,000 jobs from the UK; Goldman Sachs says it will move 2,000 and HSBC says it would move 1,000 if the UK leaves the single market.
Goldman Sachs had been planning to move some of its operations over to London, but in light of recent developments has said it is pulling back on this decision. “Operating our business to maximise our global potential, we were trying to get as much into the UK as we could,” said Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman. “We are [now] slowing down that decision” he added.
Chief executive of Barclays, Jes Staley, has expressed his confidence in London remaining a financial hub post-Brexit. “I don’t believe the financial centre of Europe will leave the City of London” he said in Davos. “There are all sorts of reasons why I think the UK will continue to be the financial lungs for Europe.” However, he too has suggested there will be a shift in some operations from Barclays UK. “We may have to move certain activities, we may have to change the legal structure that we use to operate in Europe,” he said in an interview with the BBC last week. “Whether he have to route some activities through Ireland, or do something in Germany, those are the options that we are looking at,” he added.
Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group recently told the Treasury Select Committee as many as 230,000 jobs in the UK financial sector are at risk due to Brexit uncertainty. Chair of the committee, Andrew Tyrie said “Preserving the access arrangements provided currently by passporting is an important objective. Accepting the loss of one part of the financial services industry, such as euro clearing, could have unintended and disruptive consequences for the UK and the EU.”