Brexit: banking jobs exodus 'will be far lower than feared'

Brexit could yet force big banks to major major decisions on staff numbers in the City (Getty Images)

Fewer than 4,600 banking jobs will be moved out of London because of Brexit, according to new research.

That figures represents just 6% of the total number of people employed by big international banks in the City – and is far below previous, gloomier predictions.

The Financial Times estimate is based on statements from 15 of the UK’s biggest banks, interviews with more than a dozen executives and industry benchmarks.

MORE: Boss of Standard Chartered bank says Brexit ‘driving talent elsewhere’

Its research revealed:

  • Deutsche Bank – just 350 jobs could be moved out of London, well below the previously publicly-stated 4,000
  • JP Morgan – about 700 posts could be relocated, again far below the 4,000 London job losses earlier predicted by boss Jamie Dimon
  • Goldman Sachs – expects to move fewer than 500 staff out of the UK capital, despite opening a new office in Frankfurt that can accommodate 1,000 people
Brexit secretary David Davis (L) and the Europe’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier have been edging towards trade talks (Thierry Monasse/Corbis via Getty Images)

“Every city wants thousands of people, but what are they going to do?” one senior executive at a large US institution told the FT.

He said staff at its London office “cover clients” who will mostly be remaining in the UK.

MORE: What will happen to UK banks after Brexit?

Financial institutions have warned in the past that tens of thousands of jobs will vanish from London and the UK after Brexit in March 2019.

They have spoken of concerns about the ability to carry out seamless transactions across the European Union without having access to the bloc.

One area that looks set to be severely affected is the multi-billion euro clearing sector, currently dominated by London, but which will most likely move to a major EU city from 2019.

Brexit secretary David Davis has sought to assuage some of those fears by pledging special travel arrangements for bankers after Brexit.

MORE: What is euro clearing and why does it matter to the UK and Brexit?

“The story has always been three to five years out, not what does it do to the City the morning after Brexit,” Rob Rooney, chief executive of Morgan Stanley International told the FT.

Much still depends, however, on what the banks’ clients do post-Brexit; where the clients will be based, how comfortable they would be staying put, what pressures Brexit will place on the basic day-to-day business of doing business.