The head of the UK’s fifth-largest bank.has warned that the country is already struggling to attract talent thanks to last year’s Brexit vote.
Standard Chartered is “preparing for the worst” after the UK leaves the EU, the bank’s chief executive Bill Winters told the BBC.
We have already had some setbacks for the talent pool in London through the restriction on student visas. That’s already a problem.Some of the best talent that we can have in the UK marketplace is coming from students that have chosen to study here and then stayed for some extended period afterwards… We’ve noticed that’s been impacted already.
Applications from EU students for places at UK universities dropped by more than 7 percent last year, according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
“More through a sense from non-UK [people] that this might not be such a hospitable place any longer – it’s more psychological than contractual,” he added.
The bank’s Frankfurt branch will become its European subsidiary instead of London. Although the move is “inconvenient and expensive”, requiring additional capital, licences and staff, it is necessary, according to Winters.
London will take hits in the context of Brexit… I think big parts of the euro-denominated corporate banking business will be forced into Europe. It’s possible that through the Brexit negotiations that there is some sort of extended passporting rule [ability of banks to sell services across Europe from a UK base] but none of us are expecting that quite frankly, or preparing for that.
“We have to prepare for the worst… let’s hope for the best, but we’re prepared for the worst,” the former JP Morgan banker added.
A Department for Education spokesperson said it would provide further assurances for students hoping to come to the UK from the EU:
We have confirmed that EU students starting their courses in the academic year 18/19 or before will continue to be eligible for student loans and home fee status and will have a right to remain in the UK to complete their course.