2x1 financial services sector

London’s Brexit wish list

17 November 2016

What impact will Brexit have on London’s crucial financial and professional services sector?

The London Assembly Economy Committee has published a short report setting out key asks for London, in order to ensure the continued success of this vital part of the UK economy.

  • Financial services create roughly a fifth of the total value created in London’s economy.
  • In 2014-15, HMRC calculated the sector contributed seven per cent of the £291 billion collected from taxes on earning and onshore corporation tax.2
  • The sector employs 360,000 people and London is home to over 250 foreign banks.
  • The financial services industry relies heavily on passport rights with nearly 5,500 UK-registered companies using passports to access the EU market.3

The Committee’s report makes a number of observations:

  • Any new national immigration system should not automatically exclude people without concrete job offers – skills should be valued just as highly, as a skilled-based immigration system will be more successful and beneficial to London and the UK in the long term.
  • London could consider developing its own visa system to allow skilled workers to live and work in the capital. Variations of regional work permits have been used in other countries, like China and Canada.
  • The Mayor should continue to be a strong advocate for protecting the City, given its strategic importance as a high value asset for the whole UK economy. He should also explore the development of a skills strategy for the growing fintech sector.

Fiona Twycross AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, said: 

“The Mayor of London needs to keep banging the drum for the financial and professional services in London. He has set out a number of key asks to the government and the London Assembly Economy Committee broadly supports these.

We need the closest possible access to the single market when the UK leaves the EU and greater clarity on the status of EU workers is absolutely vital.

London needs to retain and attract a talented and highly skilled workforce and a skills-based immigration system could be the answer.”

Notes to editors

  1. EU exit and financial services short report available to download below.
  2. The EU Single Market: The Value of Membership versus Access to the UK (IFS, 2016)
  3. Letter from Financial Conduct Authority to the Treasury Select Committee Chair, 17 August 2016.
  4. Fiona Twycross AM, Chair of the London Assembly Economy Committee, is available for interview. Please see contact details below. 
  5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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