Tech sector fearful over retaining EU staff

The UK's burgeoning fintech sector is "getting on with business as usual" despite continuing uncertainties stemming from Brexit, according to a new survey.

Tech sector fearful over retaining EU staff
A survey conducted by the fintech industry body Innovate Finance has found that because most companies in the sector were small- or medium-sized enterprises, they were not able to prepare as large financial institutions."Goalposts and timings keep changing, making it very difficult and costly for them to plan," said the report. "While Brexit is a risk, it is somewhat mitigated by their ability to act quickly and pivot. That said, fintech companies are clearly eager for Brexit to be delivered without a cliff-edge scenario that will put their prospects in flux."Charlotte Crosswell, CEO at Innovate Finance, commented, “At this time of rapid growth in the UK’s fintech sector, which is at the heart of the future prosperity of the UK economy and innovation, we would prefer our members to be focussing on their businesses, scaling up to conquer new markets, at home and internationally.“Hearing directly from the industry and amplifying its message to government is a vital step to ensuring ongoing growth for fintech. Businesses must take the lead to make sure our fintech sector remains strong. Now is the time to avoid complacency, further strengthen our position and support the sector’s growth.”

The negative impact of a no-deal Brexit

Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by Ipsos MORI for the wider tech industry body techUK found that 71 per cent of firms believed a no-deal Brexit would have a negative effect on their business, with 27 per cent of them believing it would be "very negative".Their main concerns included the overall, negative impact on the economy and a slowdown in business, uncertainty over the regulatory compliance requirements, additional regulatory barriers to access EU markets, and the impact on the ability to retain and recruit talent from EU27 countries.Julian David, CEO of techUK, said, “In the nine months that have passed since we last surveyed our members, sentiment has not changed about the impact of no-deal with the majority of respondents saying it would have a negative impact on their business. Even for those members we spoke to who have taken steps to prepare for no-deal, mainly larger members, it is clear that no-deal remains an unattractive outcome."A no-deal Brexit on 31st October will not bring an end to uncertainty for business. The UK will have to return to the negotiating table on 1st November to start talks on a Free Trade Agreement, with no Withdrawal Agreement to build on. This will only extend uncertainty and undermine confidence for UK tech businesses.”

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