Britain will lose its status as Europe's top financial centre unless it keeps borders open to specialist staff, improves infrastructure and expands links with emerging economies, TheCityUK said in a report. Laura Frykberg reports.
It towers above the rest of Europe, as the top financial centre... But London could be about to lose its title, says Britain's most powerful financial lobby. The CityUK warning that countries on the continent could replace it.. Unless the government pursues a so-called soft Brexit. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "Theresa May of course, is incredibly weak at the moment. She doesn't have the power she doesn't have the mandate she doesn't have the support to fight off these pressures." Although that's done little to appease many businesses based in Britain.. Which plan to move at least some operations to Europe if the UK leaves the single market. But the head of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, says there are other options... As long as firms get assurances from the government, AND fast.. SOUNDBITE (English) UK'S FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY CHIEF EXECUTIVE ANDREW BAILEY, SAYING: "Where I think it becomes tricky, is that there's a very clear risk that at that transition period, firms will reach the point where they have to put into effect their transition plans before they know the outcome of the negotiation." Another part of the CityUK report only likely to add to that risk... It says since the Brexit vote, the government has made it harder to attract people from overseas.. In the past year the cost of hiring an employee on a five-year visa has increased 250 percent... to 7,000 pounds.