At the moment, the impact of Brexit on the UK economy and employment could not be less clear. We do not know what the final deal with the EU will be, whether there will be a transition period, and to what extent financial services providers based in the UK will lose their passporting rights.
We also do not know how many EU nationals working in the UK will return home, or how the UK government will seek to take back control of its immigration policy in the future. So, if you’re working in the Financial Sector in the UK, is it possible to say what effect Brexit will have on your career?
Possibly, and to some extent the effects have already kicked in. Employers cannot afford to wait until the last minute, and most have already made plans to move at least some roles to the EU after Brexit. According to think-tank Breugel, London could lose 10,000 banking jobs and 20,000 roles in Financial Services. We also know Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Nomura have already committed to move hundreds of jobs to Frankfurt. HSBC says it is moving 1,000 jobs to Paris, although keeping its HQ in Canary Wharf. Barclays Bank is looking to move some staff to Dublin. Schroders and Jupiter have started filing for additional authorisation in Luxembourg and Dublin too so there’s no doubt change is afoot.
So how can you do to make the most of Brexit in terms of your career?
- Keep ahead of the game. If you have a choice, don’t wait for your job to be under threat. If you are a contract worker or are looking to take the next step soon, Brexit could reduce your choices for several years, so you might want to think about that move sooner. The evidence from other industries is that once your career takes a step back, it rarely fully recovers.
- Not all jobs are under threat. EY’s Brexit tracker has a similar figure to Breugel’s, predicting 10,500 jobs will relocate. But of the 18 companies that told EY which business areas they were moving, 14 explained that it would be front office roles, which are most vulnerable to changes in passporting. If you work in the back office, you are much less vulnerable. Also, HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said that only about 20% of the bank’s business would be affected. He doesn’t see “the foreign exchange market moving, the investment grade bond market moving, the equity market moving and the high-yield bond market moving.”
- Be flexible. If your job moves, why not move with it? Financial services companies will be desperate to hold on to as many staff as possible. There are worse places to live than Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Paris.
- London is a technology leader. Relatively few Fintechs will want to relocate jobs. If you want to acquire a new skill to make a move into this side of the business, there has never been a better time to start acquiring it.
- Regulation is going nowhere. Brexit doesn’t signal the end of GDPR or MIFiD. Even if they have to be ported over to UK law eventually, there will not be a bonfire of financial regulation in the UK, and there’s a permanent shortage of experienced staff.
- Don’t panic. As Omar Ali, UK financial services leader at EY, points out: “The number of financial services companies who have publicly said that they are making wholesale changes to their London operations is relatively small, given the huge number of firms that comprise the sector.”
We would also advise finding a mentor to help you consider all options for career progression and transition and of course, we have mentors available on the AlgoMe.com platform for you today.