No Brexodus, then

Wednesday 13th December 2017

Thanks to the diligent hacks at the FT for puncturing a silly myth. Turns out that far from the tens of thousands of City toilers who would quit London after Brexit , the actual figure is fewer than 4,600.  Consulants EY were saying only this week that ten thousand would leave on ‘day one’.

The pink ‘un gives Deutsche Bank as an example – its Sylvie Matherat, who’s head of regulation, publicly said that that up to 4000 jobs could move. The FT’s investigation puts the actual figure at just 350 by 2019. That’s about 5% of Deutsche’s London headcount – and that proportion is broadly matched across other institutions.

What is the reason for this disparity ? It does point to some odd  planning, given that not that much has changed. Certainly the UK government made progress last week in the divorce deal with the EU, but the FT quotes a head of regulatory affairs at JP Morgan who says that it’s done nothing to better the Brexit outcome.

You could wonder, then, that  if the institutions are getting such a fundamental issue wrong, then what were their collective thought processes ? When the mass exodus was first predicted , I put it down to a massive hedging of bets. No problem with that.


But I suspect there’s more to it. First, it must be gradually dawning that  it would take years to rebuild an infrastructure  to replace London’s. It’s not faultless by any means, but it works and it evolves from crisis to crisis, from mess to mess. Which is what real life is.


Second – take a trip to Frankfurt on a Friday night. I won’t spoil it for you, but you will see why London will continue to be the place to be. For most of the young tribes in the canyons of capitalism, it rocks.


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