Resilience in the City of London: The fate of UK financial services after Brexit

Manolis Kalaitzake*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The fate of British finance following the Brexit referendum revolves around the ‘resilience or relocation’ debate: will the City of London continue to thrive as the world’s leading financial centre or will the bulk of its activity move to rival hubs after departure from EU trading arrangements? Despite extensive commentary, there remains no systematic analysis of this question since the Leave vote. This paper addresses that lacuna by evaluating the empirical evidence concerning jobs, investments, and share of key trading markets. Contrary to widely-held expectations, the evidence suggests that the City has been remarkably resilient. Brexit has had no significant impact on jobs and London has consolidated its position as the chief location for financial FDI, FinTech funding, and attracting new firms. Most unexpectedly, the City has increased its dominance in major infrastructure markets such as over-the-counter clearing of (euro-denominated) derivatives and foreign exchange—although it has lost out in the handling of repurchase agreements and share trading. Based upon this evidence, the paper argues that London’s resilience is mainly a function of its status as a crucial ‘agglomeration peak’ of global finance which shelters its unique ecosystem from the typical pressures of capital flight.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Political Economy
Early online date30 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Brexit
  • City of London
  • European Union
  • financial services
  • United Kingdom


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