After a debilitating petrol shortage, the City of London is now fearful of a banker exodus.
A new analysis claims that Brexit-related issues in employing foreign personnel are jeopardizing London’s desired reputation as one of the world’s most important financial centers.
TheCityUK, the City of London Corporation, and consultancy firm EY’s analysis will be concerning reading for Chancellor Rishi Sunak, as it suggests a looming shortage of bankers, in addition to a shortage of HGV drivers, which has necessitated the use of army tankers to deliver petrol supplies to filling stations. The research, which is a follow-up to one released a year ago, emphasizes the value of “talented, international, and multilingual individuals,” with foreign workers accounting for 19.5 percent of those employed in the financial services industry and rising to 42 percent in FinTech.
“Talent is routinely the number one concern that comes up when we talk to our companies,” said Miles Celic, chief executive officer of TheCityUK.
“The ability to attract talent from outside is critical for London and the rest of the UK.”
“Could there be a point of no return?” Of course there’s a chance.
“This is vitally critical to our long-term viability.”
“The difficulty is that EU nationals are now in the immigration system,” co-author Seema Farazi, a global immigration partner at EY, noted.
“The full impact hasn’t been felt because the pandemic has lowered the volume.”
The new picture also presents significant issues for companies, who, according to prior estimates by the City of London Corporation and EY, would have to pay £21,000 to relocate a worker, their partner, and two children to the UK for five years under the Tier 2 visa procedure.
Another source of concern, according to the paper, is “the gap in the system for short-term business travel.”
“A relatively slight shift in activity typically leads in a substantial rise in the cost, timeframe, and administration involved with compliance with the immigration system, and there is no middle ground between visitor status and a work visa,” the document notes.
As a result, it suggests establishing “a hybrid short-term stream under the new Global Business Mobility Route to allow personnel to enter the UK for short-term productive activities without requiring a work visa.”
Mr. Celic and Catherine McGuinness, chairwoman of the City of London Corporation’s “Brinkwire Summary News,” wrote an introduction to the report.