UK financial services feel risks outweigh opportunities as Brexit approaches

Written by Oliver Wade

UK financial services “increasingly” feel as though risks will outweigh opportunities as Brexit draws nearer, according to the recent snapshot member survey by ACCA.

Almost half (49%) of representatives from financial services firms surveyed by ACCA stated that the risks associated with Brexit are greater than the opportunities. Only 14% of the firms surveyed felt that Brexit would provide the UK with more opportunities. This figure represents an increase in the volume of financial firms that have concerns surrounding Brexit, as the percentage was lower last year at 40%, with 16% feeling as though there will be more opportunity.

The survey further revealed that more firms have made Brexit contingency plans compared to last year, whilst a third have said that they will have “little or no preparation” plans in place by the time the UK formally leaves the EU.

However, a third of the firms surveyed felt that the risks will only outweigh the opportunities in the short term, stating that, in five years, the opportunities will outweigh the risks, whilst 32% state the oppostire.

ACCA director of professional insights Maggie McGhee commented: “While this is only a snapshot of the large and diverse FS sector, the findings reflect the views commonly heard from our membership. While the proposed transition deal means business as a whole has some degree of clarity, the race is now on to secure a favourable Brexit outcome for FS.

“At the same, government should not lose sight of the long-term opportunities for Brexit. A favourable regulatory environment could benefit financial services if it facilitates improved relationships with the global economy.”

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