The financial services sector in the UK will get no special treatment from Theresa May during Brexit negotiations, as the Prime Minister refuses to prioritise the protection of the sector after the UK have left the European Union.
Financial firms are concerned their ease of access to business in the EU will be jeopardised if it loses its “passporting” rights.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron previously emphasised that Brexit would be a “gamble” of the UK’s financial sector, which accounts for nearly 12% of the economic output and provides over one million jobs.
Theresa May didn't refer to the City of London in her speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, instead saying she only wants the Brexit deal to involve free trade deals in the movement of goods and services, cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism work.
The Prime Minster announced that formal Brexit talks with EU leaders will launch before the end of March 2017 and said she isn’t keen to push for a transition period to prepare for Brexit.
However, waiting to see how these negotiations unfold is not an option, according to financial management and technology consultancy, Brickendon.
The company said the financial service sector should prepare for change right away by considering their options, such as "relocating parts of business to other EU member states."
Christopher Burke, the company’s CEO, said a relocation could reduce operating costs by as much as 60%.
He said: “Theresa May’s decision not to provide a transition period for the financial sector only emphasises the importance of preparing for the change now. This is not a time to wait and see, it is a time to act. The window for maximising both the risk mitigation options and competitive edge is closing.
“There are a range of things to consider, such as market access, potential unwinding, regulatory implications, staff and functions previously off-shored to other European member states, location of clients and competition for talent.