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UK Bankers Confident of City’s Place after Brexit: Study

(AFP) – Almost three quarters of British bankers believe London will still be the financial centre of Europe in five years’ time, despite risks surrounding Brexit, according to a study published Wednesday.

US financial services firm Synechron, which carried out the research with the TABB Group, said it questioned 80 capital markets executives in banks based in Britain.

Of those surveyed, 72 percent thought that London would remain the heart of the European financial system in the years to come, despite many anticipating increased compliance costs and red tape because of Brexit.

Big banks have publically voiced their fears about the impact of Britain leaving the European Union, including potential loss of access to the European single market.

The powerful British banking lobby has even warned that international banks based in Britain are ready to transfer some of their activities out of the country from early 2017.

The study shows that 55 percent of banks have put in place “Brexit steering committees” to prepare for life outside the European Union.

Synechron estimates that it would cost banks an average of £50,000 ($61,000, 55,000 euros) per employee to relocate staff from London to another European financial centre.

While some banks are “already considering relocating staff to other cities around Europe”, the majority of bankers questioned remain optimistic, “painting a very hopeful picture of the future”, said Tim Cuddeford, a director at the firm.

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