LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – Almost a hundred highly paid bankers left the UK ahead of its formal exit from the EU, the bloc’s banking watchdog said today, in a sign of how Brexit has impacted the Square Mile.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) said in its annual survey of bankers earning more than €1m (£850,000) that the UK’s total number of highly-oaid banker dropped by 95 high earners across 2019.
Despite the flight to the continent, the UK still has the lion’s share of wealthy bankers in Europe, accounting for 71 per cent of the 4,963 bankers in the top pay category across the bloc in 2019.
London remains the dominannt financial centre, despite efforts from Brussels to use the Brexit vote and new regulations on financial services to move jobs back to the EU.
Around 380,000 people are employed in Bthe UK’s banking industry according to figures from SAT.
The €1m threshold includes basic pay, bonuses, long-term awards and pension contributions.
By the time the UK formally left the EU on 31 December 2020 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.
That figure is still below the estimates of “tens of thousands” of finance jobs that were predicted to move from the Square Mile and beyond before the 2016 Brexit vote.
The moves boosted the number of top earners to 492 from from 450 in Germany, to 270 from from 234 in France, and to 241 from 206 in Italy, the EBA said.
“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,” the EBA said in a report.
Most of the EU’s top earning bankers were based in its main financial centres Frankfurt, Paris and Milan, with other locations in single digits or low double digits.
The EU capped on banker bonuses in 2014 at than twice the amount of basic pay with shareholder approval, a measure that Britain opposed at the time but has so far left intact since Brexit.