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86% of City staff ready to say goodbye to the UKsays Astbury Marsden

86% of City staff ready to say goodbye to the UKsays Astbury Marsden

City staff much more likely to move internationally than domestically

Willingness of City staff to relocate abroad continues to be underestimated 

A much higher proportion of City staff would move internationally rather than would relocate within the UK, according to a new survey by Astbury Marsden, a leading financial services recruitment firm.

Astbury Marsden’s research* found that 86% of City staff would move internationally, while only 58% would be prepared to move domestically, and that one in two City staff surveyed had relocated overseas once in their career already.

“This is a surprisingly high figure and demonstrates that City staff are potentially very mobile, and their expressed willingness to move overseas is not just idle chatter or bravado,” says Jonathan Nicholson, Managing Director at Astbury Marsden.

“The City has been successful in attracting high flyers from across the world in recent years. Many have already relocated to be here, but with no long-term ties to the UK they will be equally happy to take their talents elsewhere.”

“Politicians consistently underestimate the willingness of City staff to relocate and a high percentage of the most highly sought were not born in the UK and have shallow roots here.”

“The Government should be concerned by this, because as the research shows, City workers are extremely mobile and are able to move if they feel regulatory and political pressure is making the UK a less attractive place for them to pursue their career.”

Astbury Marsden found that City staff aged 50-59 were the least likely to move internationally, as only 76% would move abroad. However, 90.9% of City workers aged 60, and 94% of those under 30 would consider an international move.

Jonathan Nicholson says: “Junior staff are the most mobile, as they are most open to new opportunities as they start their career.”

“Interestingly, the most senior staff were amongst those most willing to consider an international move. This could be down to the fact that they are finally free of childcare responsibilities and would relish a new challenge as they move towards retirement.”

“Also, some of this group will already be in very senior roles – they know that the best chance for the top jobs will come from moving overseas.”

Astbury Marsden adds that worries over the new EU Rules to put a specific cap on bonuses  could also be a factor which could lure workers away from the UK.

Jonathan Nicholson adds: “City staff are less inclined to relocate within the UK, partly as they know they will face the same drag on income they would in London.”

“Outside of the EU, these caps on earnings do not exist, so this could be a reason why City workers are prepared to look further afield to other financial centres.” 

Technology workers are least tempted by an international move

Astbury Marsden’s research found that City staff in the technology sector were the least likely to consider an international move. Only 72.7% would move internationally, compared to the overall average of 86%.

Jonathan Nicholson explains: “Technology workers in the City are in the major and most exciting hub for their sector. London and New York host the central trading systems, so the majority of interesting technology work is in those two cities.” 

“Outside of the UK, technology roles tend to be more on the support side, so pay is lower.”

*Astbury Marsden’s Report on Mobility and Flexible Working


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