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61% of City workers would consider move abroad

The proportion of City workers (London) who would consider a move abroad has fallen by around a fifth over the last year, from 79% to 61%, according to new research by Astbury Marsden.

Astbury Marsden say that the figures are a good indication that increased restrictions on bonuses and concerns over a possible Brexit are having little impact on the overall appeal of London for financial services workers.

Over half of the 500 City workers surveyed (51%) said that they felt that the new bonus deferral and clawback regime had no impact on the appeal of London compared to other major financial services sectors.

For those who would consider a move abroad, the appeal of fewer restrictions on bonuses was cited as a key motivation by just 2.5%.

Adam Jackson, managing director at Astbury Marsden, commented, “The results are promising. There have been concerns that a clampdown on bonus packages- as well as the prospect of a Brexit- might start to adversely impact London’s appeal, but this does not seem to be the case.

“Feelings on Brexit are mixed. Whilst the prospect of leaving the EU is generating some uncertainty, most are confident that any dislocation in the markets caused by an exit would be short-term and that as a leading financial services centre, the UK would be in a strong position to successfully re-negotiate its relationship with Europe afterwards.

“Some City workers also, of course, see the potential benefits, including the opportunity to re-draw certain aspects of European regulation.”

For those who would consider a move abroad, the research found that key motivations included lower taxation (ranked the main motivation by 16% of City workers), more exciting work (ranked the main motivation by 18%) and the ‘experience’ of working overseas, as part of overall career progression (ranked the main motivation by 54%).

Jackson added, “Professional development and the opportunity to experience something new seem to be the key pull factors when it comes to international re-location.

“Indeed, overseas experience is highly valuable- and can improve career prospects back in London. Staff able to speak other languages, or simply appreciate the cultural differences across international markets, are always in demand.”

When asked which major financial services centres they would consider a move to, half or more City workers said that they would be willing to re-locate to New York (78%), Singapore (55%) or Hong Kong (50%).

A considerable number also said they would consider re-locating to Amsterdam (47%) and Dubai (42%). Slightly less popular were Stockholm and Shanghai, where 36% and 25% of City workers would consider a move respectively.

The international financial services centres which City workers would consider moving to

Jackson said, “New York and London retain their lead but strong interest in re-location to other major or growing financial services centres is clearly evident.

“The appeal of Southeast Asia’s thriving financial services sector continues- with more than half of respondents stating that they would consider a move to Singapore or Hong Kong.

“Amsterdam was also shown to be a popular choice. The area is increasingly recognised as a hub for fintech companies and technological innovation-which makes it an increasingly exciting place to be.”

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