Who would you want to work in the City of London nowadays? The British government still seems woefully unprepared for what happens to EU nationals living in the UK, European cities are queuing up to proclaim their success at luring finance jobs from London, and banks like Goldman Sachs are allegedly contemplating halving their UK headcount. In fact, none of this seems to have made any difference. Based on CVs uploaded to the eFinancialCareers CV database, London is still as popular as ever.
Our data, shown in the chart below, indicates an almost imperceptible cooling in the enthusiasm of American and Chinese for careers in the City of London over the past year. Meanwhile, 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. The only group to show a notable decrease is the ‘other’ category of people from nationalities beyond those specified.
What explains the City’s remarkable resilience? It might have something to do with the fact that Brexit hasn’t actually happened yet. Or that top bankers working in the City of London still earn more than top bankers anywhere else (except maybe NYC), or that – as pro-Brexiteers like to remind everyone – ‘the UK’s capital markets are some of the deepest in the world.’
It’s also worth casting an eye over last week’s report from think-tank New Financial. This laid out why claims that Brexit will damage the London might be overdone, including arguments that passporting is over-rated, that equivalence (or preferably equivalence plus) will be fine, and that London is the world’s preeminent financial centre, while Paris and Frankfurt are piffling around at 19th and 15th.