It may be a new year but are you plagued by old worries? Drawing closer is BREXIT and with negotiations advancing between super powers, the threat of an employment exodus crystallises.
So why should the relocation sector be concerned with an outward flow of employees? Simply put, if headquarters and departments relocated to distant shores, the era of opportunity will be lost. Companies will move staff to Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin instead; the lure of London, Leeds and other major UK cities will weaken and the recruitment sector will dim. Or will it?
Initial reports suggested that as many as 75,000 staff could be relocated away from the UK or dismissed as a result of the referendum result. It appears, however, the suggested figure may be well off the mark and comfort comes from a respectable source. The Financial Times has concluded that less than 5,000 jobs may be relocated amidst BREXIT after it analysed dozens of interviews and statements made by banks and executives. Cited is the news that Deutsche Bank – who was reported to be moving 4,000 of its London staff abroad – will, in reality, relocated around 350. It’s a trend that’s echoed throughout the banking sector; with UBS, JP Morgan and HSBC all scaling back plans to transfer staff away from the UK.
The FT isn’t the only source to feel a decreasing sense of doom. While Anjalika Bardalai, chief economist and head of research at TheCityUK, has predicted some ‘economic friction’ within the EU as exit negotiations continue, his report – Key Facts about the UK as an International Financial Centre 2017 – points to growth potential attached to financial services trade and investment relationships with the US, China, Japan and India
In addition, the effects of BREXIT might be diminishing in other industries too. Seeing out 2017 was Toby Courtauld, the head of FTSE-listed property developer Great Portland Estates, with a comment that he remained a ‘long-term optimist’ about the UK’s post-BREXIT prospects, commenting that the country would reinvent itself even if financial service jobs were lost.
Reinvention may already be underway, with a strong metamorphosis of the country into a global tech hub. For every heavyweight, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Snap and Instagram, strengthening its presence in the UK are a hundred start-ups, hubs and collaborations in the tech sector that are quickly gaining traction and demanding fresh talent.
As for 2018, you might well be moving as many Bitcoin entrepreneurs as you are bankers but indications show that BREXIT will hopefully be ‘soft’ in the relocation sector.