Brexit is 'preventing UK fintech companies from luring top talent'

Keiligh Baker's picture

A new report suggests that leaving the European Union is already making it harder for fintech firms in Britain to recruit top talent.

The Fuelling Fintech report from TheCityUK, which promotes Britain as a financial center, and recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson, said fintech and other financial services firms must work harder to secure the skills they need.

Fintech in the UK is worth £7billion, employs 60,000 people and investment grew by 154 percent in 2017.

The report states: "We found that a limited pool of tech talent, further drained by a reduction in the flow of EU tech graduates into the UK, is making recruiting and retaining the right people an ever greater challenge for the finance sector."

The report makes a series of recommendations for the sector and its engagement with those educating future employees. These include learning from other industries, such as pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, which have forged successful long-term partnerships with academia.

The report also calls for better data gathering on the industry skills needs, and greater leadership on reskilling existing employees.

“Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, there has been a significant decrease of graduates coming to the UK from France and Germany in particular,” said Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK.

“There is a risk that those talented migrants with the skills needed by the UK will leave before these skills can be replaced by home-grown talent,” Celic said.

Britain has emerged as a leading fintech hub in Europe in recent years but now faces increased competition from EU cities such as Berlin, Paris and Luxembourg that can offer access to the bloc’s vast single market. Britain’s future access to the EU market could remain unclear for some time to come.

“The current shortage of tech talent is a strategic issue for the UK’s financial and related professional services industry, yet little has been done to quantify our current and future skills need,” said Nathan Bostock, chief executive of Santander UK bank and chair of TheCityUK’s working group on trade and investment.

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