With news that Goldman Sachs is planning to add ‘hundreds’ of staff to their regional offices and cities like Paris and Frankfurt making aggressive plays for London’s workforce, such concerns may seem reasonable. Paris lobbyists at Europlace say it plans to pilfer 20,000 City jobs and, with Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Malta all positioning themselves to take advantage of moves post-Brexit, competition is definitely increasing.
According to some, Malta is the dark horse of the post-Brexit race. Jeremy Leach, Chief Executive Officer at MPG, said: “Malta will be the biggest beneficiary following Brexit. After London, it should be the first choice for a financial firm to establish a branch or secondary office because its residents speak English and are well-educated, it provides easy access to the EU and it has an efficient regulatory process.
“It is politically stable, which is not so easy to say with regards to Italy and even France, while it also has a great financial rating, unlike Greece.
“Dublin is good and it offers English but it is more expensive and less tax-efficient than Malta while all the other options in Europe such as Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or Gibraltar have one or more flaws that weaken their case.”
Although the UK may lose some jobs following its exit from the EU, the lustre of London will continue to shine. Data from City recruiter efinancialcareers shows the enthusiasm that foreigners have to work in London has not waned. “The proportion of French, Italian and German financial services job-seekers updating their CVs and saying they’re available to work in the City has actually increased slightly since Brexit,” according to an article on the efinancialcareers website.
This could be driven by the fact that financial services jobs in London pay better than those in most other countries and that the UK’s capital markets are some of the deepest in the world.
In truth, London has probably little to fear. The cities being touted as the Brexit winners aren’t even in the top 10 of the Global Financial Centres Index. The financial industry also has enough depth for everyone to have a piece of the pie – London can keep its gargantuan footprint and burgeoning financial centres can build on their expertise.
But concerns about Asia becoming a big draw for financial services professionals may be a more legitimate worry for those anxious about London losing some headcount.