Banking IT community faces uncertain Brexit future

The financial services IT community faces a period of uncertainty as finance firms reassess plans following the EU referendum result

Reports that HSBC and US bank JP Morgan could move thousands of jobs out of the UK if it leaves the European Union (EU) means uncertainty for IT workers.

IT workers in the UK banking sector are hardened to the threat of job losses with thousand cut since the financial crisis of 2008, Brexit adds another threat to staff.

Even without the fear of an EU exit, banks are cutting back on UK IT staff. On 22 June 2016, the Royal Bank of Scotland confirmed it is cutting 900 IT and back office jobs in the UK as the business shrinks.

David Banister, analyst at Ovum, said in the short term IT projects will be put on hold, “particularly if there is an EU regulatory element, which is a lot of them”.

He said in the longer term there is a worry that some big overseas banks will have to move parts of their operation to Europe for compliance reasons.

Areas such as Luxemburg might be attractive, as well as Dublin and even Scotland if Nicola Sturgeon’s efforts to keep Scotland in the EU succeed.

“Dublin is looking to do well out of it. If Scotland goes, there is a good case for Glasgow and Edinburgh, which have a lot of back office jobs,” said Bannister.

But it is not just a London problem, he added. “Lots of the data and processing centres are in other places – JP Morgan is one of the biggest employers in Bournemouth, for example, and Barclays is next door in Poole.”

Of course much of this depends on whether or not banks would retain their passporting rights, which allow them to trade across Europe.

“[If banks retain passporting rights] London remains the global centre it always has been and nothing changes. If they do [remove passporting rights], then most banks will need to relocate to Europe and will probably choose Dublin,” wrote Chris Skinner, chairman of Financial Services Club, in a blog post.

See for more details