Finance workers see Brexit as biggest threat

Almost 60% of workers in the UK's financial services see the aftermath of Brexit as the biggest challenge facing the industry during 2020, according to a new survey.

The research, involving more than 500 staff in the sector and conducted by content services firm Nuxeo, also found that 41% of staff did not consider their managers had properly communicated what post-Brexit plans were in place.

What are the biggest concerns about Brexit?

Concerns over Brexit are probably not surprising in a sector heavily dependent on overseas workers. In financial services based in London, 13% of staff are from EU27 nations and 9% from countries outside Europe.Some 36% of respondents rated cybersecurity threats and information or data breaches as the second greatest challenge for the coming 12 months. A fifth or more of workers also considered the closure of offices and branches, the burden of increasing regulation, the possibility of 'big tech' firms moving into financial services, and competition from new challenger banks as posing further threats to the sector.Chris McLaughlin, chief product and marketing officer at Nuxeo, said, “In 2020, UK financial services firms will not only have to deal with competitive and operational pressures, but they expect that the regulatory and political landscape will impact them as well.

How can companies succeed despite the uncertainty of Brexit?

“The firms that will succeed in this challenging environment will be those who focus on improving the customer experience, delivering innovative, new products and services, and embracing technologies that will modernise their operations in order to make all of this possible.”While there was widespread disquiet among workers over the information they had been given about Brexit preparations, 72% said their managements had successfully communicated the challenges posed by increased regulation, while 69% felt information about cybersecurity threats had been adequately communicated."The key challenges for 2020 identified by UK financial services (FS) workers are already having an impact on their day-to-day activities as 2019 draws to a close," said the report, 'Information, Intelligence & Innovation: How UK Financial Services is Shaping up for 2020'."With so many challenges causing such an impact on FS and the people that work in the sector, it would suggest that banks and other FS firms need to address this with their staff. Yet the research findings show there have been differing levels of communication, depending on the specific challenge."

Read more news and views from David Sapsted

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