Banking on Brexit – the one thing we know for sure

Landing a man on the moon. The fall of the Berlin Wall. The rise of personal computing and the internet. The 2008 financial crisis. Brexit. What do all these events have in common?

The answer is change.

All of the above have a before and an after. We now find ourselves on the ‘before’ side of the Brexit one-way glass, trying (with great difficulty) to see what lies on the other. Pundits have appeared on television shows, written newspaper articles and laid out scenarios for a post-Brexit Britain. But the simple fact of the matter is; we don’t really know. Nobody knows. The only thing we do know is that things will be different on the other side.

What does this mean for the UK Financial Sector? Well, London is Europe’s primary financial hub by a significant margin. The UK dominates cross-border bank lending with 17 per cent of the international market share, while France and Germany hold just 9 per cent each. The UK is not part of the Eurozone but is nonetheless the biggest market in the world for trading Euros. The island is the bridge connecting the U.S. and Europe.

What we know for sure is that banks operating in the UK will most likely want to continue to do business with the EU. To do so, they would need to maintain a regulatory environment “at least as good as” that of the EU – which is time consuming and can become political. Regulation will no doubt be one of the areas experiencing the greatest changes as some are kept, changed, or scrapped altogether.

However, it doesn’t end there. UK based banks currently relying on EU passporting rights will likely have to set up new legal entities and relocate staff to one of the remaining 27 EU countries if they want to continue dealing directly with EU clients.

Whilst regulation and relocation (and of course all the surrounding uncertainty) are no doubt top of the list of Brexit considerations for most financial services businesses; it is also important to consider how that change is delivered. The key to a successful transition for any business is to make the most of the situation. Ensuring that your organisation can adapt (and in some cases, even thrive) as a consequence of Brexit will become the determining factor of how well businesses come out of the other end.

This requires someone who can plan, oversee and successfully deliver large-scale business change programmes based around Brexit. Many companies have already created roles along the lines of “Director of Brexit Execution” – and they are right to do so. Taking a holistic approach to change management is key to adapting to an ever transforming world.

At Metamorphic we are aware that almost two-thirds of change programmes end in failure, late or over budget. That’s why when you need a change professional to re-shape your organisation around something as crucial as Brexit, we deliver top talent.

If you think we can assist you with your recruitment needs, you can reach us on hello@metamorphic.co.uk or on 0203 617 9730.