Top bankers expect London to remain top financial centre

The City of London skyline at dusk, with Blackfriars Bridge in the foreground. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
The City of London skyline at dusk, with Blackfriars Bridge in the foreground. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
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Nearly three quarters of Britain’s top bankers expect London will still be Europe’s financial centre in five years’ time, a new report shows.

A survey conducted by consultancies Synechron and TABB Group found that 72 per cent of UK banking executives see London reigning supreme as a regional finance hub after Brexit.

That is despite concerns that Britain could lose passporting rights, which allow financial services firms to access the EU’s single market once it leaves the bloc.

The survey polled 80 financial services executives working in capital markets at UK banks.

Tim Cuddeford, a managing director at Synechron Business Consulting said: “Whilst Brexit poses an unforeseen challenge for financial institutions, the prospect of rising compliance and huge relocation costs appear inevitable.

“Despite this uncertainty, we’ve found that the majority of British bankers believe that London will remain the financial centre of Europe, painting a very hopeful picture of the future.”

While 78 per cent believe that Brexit will negatively impact UK financial markets, 82 per cent think that the EU will face negative consequences as a result of Britain’s departure.

That could be linked to survey results which show that 51 per cent of banking executives believe Britain is in a position to negotiate a Brexit deal that is tailored to UK interests.

Banks are still gearing up for any possibility, with 55 per cent already having set up “Brexit steering committees” to help prepare them for life outside of the EU.

There are also relocation costs to consider. Previous research from Synechron showed that it would cost an average of £50,000 per employee to move staff from London to another financial hub in Europe.