UBS has warned its UK workforce could be reduced by up to 30% due to concerns over Britain losing its passporting rights in the wake of the June 23 referendum.
The Swiss financial giant said between 20-30% of its 5,000 London workers (up to 1,500) could be moved to the continent, as it fears London will lose its position as global financial centre when it departs the EU.
While noting the City of London is currently pursuing a trade deal with the European Union similar to the Swiss model, chief executive Sergio Ermotti said the prospect of losing universal access to the single market was a disincentive.
"We believe that London will continue to be an important financial centre, although maybe not as important as it is today,” he added.
Ermotti’s comments seem at odds with a recent BBC report that suggested UBS will soon move into new offices in the City on an 18-year lease.
UBS follows BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale in suggesting a downscaling of its British operations could be on the cards following the ‘Brexit’ vote.
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