“Normally the City clocks out for July, but with the industry being swept from under them, people are scrambling to make the most of the time left in the EU,” said Enver.
“EU nationals who want to stay in Britain have a shrinking window of opportunity to get a job and permanent residency, and many are seizing it.”
The City makes a huge contribution to the U.K. economy. The most recent available survey found that in 2015 the City employed 1.5 percent of the U.K.’s total employment and contributed £48 billion ($62 billion), or around 3 percent, in gross value added to the U.K.’s national income.
But with the future trading relationship of the U.K. and the European Union still to be negotiated, many financial firms are putting off job recruitment or are preparing to open offices within the EU.
For instance, asset manager Standard Life is considering Ireland as its European base for when the United Kingdom leaves the EU, its CEO told CNBC on Tuesday. Other firms have announced similar plans: Bank of America announced in July it would move some roles to Dublin, while HSBC will relocate 1,000 roles to Paris.
“The language has changed. Employers and employees used to talk about ‘if’ they had to leave London. Now they’re talking about ‘when’ they leave London,” added Enver.