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Take THAT, Brussels! Brexit Britain retains crown as European finance centre – new report

3 min read

Dominic Raab dismisses EU threat to City of London

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Despite leaving the bloc in December 2020, a new report from the European Banking Authority (EBA) revealed the UK retains the majority of highly paid bankers in the EU. It revealed 71 percent of the 4,963 bankers in the top pay category across the bloc were in the UK in 2019.

This is despite the annual survey of bankers revealing that 95 bankers earning more than €1million (£850,000) left Britain ahead of its departure from the European Union.

Britain fully left the EU’s orbit for financial regulation in December 2020 and by that time many banks and other financial firms had relocated over 7,000 staff from London to new or expanded hubs in the bloc to ensure customers retained full access to the EU financial market.

The moves boosted the number of top earners to 492 from 450 in Germany, to 270 from 234 in France, and to 241 from 206 in Italy, the EBA said.

It added in the report: “The increase of high earners resulted mostly from the impact of the relocation of staff from the UK to EU27 as part of Brexit preparations.”

Meanwhile, a report by the New Financial think tank admitted the UK was “by far the largest” financial centre in Europe, but warned that rivals in Asia were “catching up fast.”

The report added: “It is too early to capture the impact of Brexit on international financial activity but the UK’s lead in key sectors such as foreign equity trading and foreign bank assets will already have been dented.”

Elsewhere, TheCityUK, which lobbies on behalf of City giant companies, released figures which showed 380,000 people were employed in Britain’s banking industry despite Brexit.

Chiefs at the lobby group are also understood to be preparing a new City of London strategy for Treasury and Government ministers.

READ MORE: Alba pledges legal action to force IndyRef2

Recommendations are being drawn up in a bid to boost the “competitiveness” for the City of London to do business, Express.co.uk understands.

The recommendations are expected to focus on regulation, trade policy and potential UK investment opportunities.

Despite efforts from Brussels to use the Brexit vote and new regulations on financial services to move jobs back to the EU, Treasury officials say the data and reports indicate the City of London is in a “competitive position to fight against rivals including Amsterdam and Frankfurt.”

A UK Government source, added: “These figures and data are promising and prove the City of London can be competitive.”

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It comes as the UK was hoping to strike a deal over the British financial sector’s role in Europe, which would allow for mutual recognition of financial service rules between London and Brussels.

But despite a “memorandum of understanding” being provisionally agreed in March this year allowing for engagement on financial industry matters, no “equivalence” deal for the sector has been signed.

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