LONDON: The number of jobs available in the British capital London has dropped by a quarter at a time when businesses are beginnging to pack their bags as the Brexit negotiations with the European Union draw closer, according to a survey by Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor.
The number of jobs available in the City decreased 23 percent from 9,015 in January to 6,945 in February.
It also reported a 12 per cent decrease in professionals seeking jobs from 12,068 in January to 10,626 in February.
The company said that one of the main contributors to the gloomy numbers is Article 50, set to be triggered in March.
“Brexit has pushed institutions into two camps,” said Hakan Enver, operations director of Morgan McKinley Financial Services.
“On one side we’ve got the ‘business as usual’ team, and on the other we have the institutions that are tired of the government’s hemming and hawing and have already begun to move jobs to other EU countries. It’s the latter group that’s contributed to the quarter drop in jobs available.”
“American banks are in the UK for the broader EU market. If Brexit cuts them off from it, they will have no incentive to stay, and will be forced to relocate,” said Mr Enver.
“For smaller European banks, access to the British market will likely be enough to retain some operations in London and other British financial services hubs such as Manchester”.
“There’s no telling what the City or the larger financial services sector will look like a year from today, as companies continue to move a piece here and a piece there. Once enough pieces of the banking infrastructure are dispersed, the whole thing could collapse,” Mr Enver said.
According to 2015 CityUK data, the relocation of the financial services industry from the UK would cost the economy £176 billion a year and 2.2 million jobs.