Brexit has created unprecedented damage to the UK’s financial services industry regardless of whatever happens next, according to the CEO of a global advice network.
The actual process of leaving the European Union itself is now increasingly irrelevant, said founder and chief executive of deVere Group, Nigel Green.
He said that even if the UK didn’t leave the EU, the damage to the UK’s financial services industry had already been done.
“Following years of uncertainty and a lack of firm leadership from all parties, firms across the sector have had to take precautionary action to safeguard their interests,” Mr Green said.
“Typically, this involves relocating parts of their business or key staff to places like Paris, Luxembourg, Dublin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, or setting up legal entities in the EU. Sometimes this has been done publicly, but a lot has, so far, not been disclosed, so we still can’t know the full scale of the situation.”
Mr Green said that with no meaningful access to the EU’s single market, the UK’s financial services sector is “bracing itself for what is likely to be a long and steady decline”, and that it is “ultimately losing its coveted ranking as the world’s top financial centre”.
“The lack of confidence in the UK’s financial services sector, which contributes around 6.5 per cent to the country’s GDP, will inevitably hit jobs and the government’s tax base,” he said.
“The steady drain of investment, talent and activity away from UK financial services might be able to be stopped, the situation might be recoverable, but confidence needs rebuilding fast.”
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