Financial Services and Asset Management
Political developments have affected the financial services sector more than most in recent years. While the FTSE 250 soared to new heights in the aftermath of the 2019 General Election result, wider fragility has been witnessed amidst Brexit uncertainty, party leadership contests, and currency market fluctuations. The sector remains vulnerable from the perspective of Brexit negotiations and the wider ramifications of the UK leaving the EU, with London’s status as a financial hub set to be impacted, given that obstruction-free access to European markets will no longer be guaranteed. This would be entirely dependent on the structure of any post-Brexit agreement, though heightened uncertainty will somewhat hinder the post-coronavirus recovery in activity regardless.
Away from such uncertainty, the uptake of new technologies has been a success story within the sector. The rise of fintech companies has brought additional innovation and disruption to more established firms, while simultaneously widening consumer access to financial products.
Though financial services firms themselves have been amongst the least disrupted by the ongoing pandemic, largely through their ease of transfer to remote working, there remains concern for the geographical regions and districts that have garnered a reputation as financial hubs. With financiers and other employees in the sector working from home en masse, the likes of the City of London and Canary Wharf remain a far cry from their usual dynamism, with potential long-term ramifications.