3 minute read 5 Sep 2019
Brexit: Immigration implications for FS and FinTech

What the Brexit immigration implications are for the financial services sector

By

EY FS Insights

Minds Made for Financial Services

3 minute read 5 Sep 2019

The Financial Services and FinTech industry relies on talent from outside the UK; therefore, uncertainty surrounding the UK leaving the EU remains a concern.

With nearly four times as many overseas migrants working in UK FinTech organisations versus the UK workforce in its entirety, it’s imperative that FinTech organisations assess and identify their reliance on EU talent and the impacts of either a ‘deal’ or a ‘no–deal’ scenario. The distinction between ‘business activities’, which can be performed as a visitor and ‘work’, which will need a work permit, will become ever more important when mitigating for the loss of freedom of movement and the flexibility this has enabled in the past.

In the event of a deal, the arrangements for UK citizens in the EU will mirror those for EU citizens in the UK – those who arrive by 31 December 2020 will be able to stay on an ongoing basis, although registration requirements will vary by country. In a no–deal scenario, UK talent currently in or moving into the EU is in a more vulnerable position – with each EU country potentially implementing their own legislation rather than being bound by a transition period and the protections in the Withdrawal Agreement.

FinTech and Financial Services firms must understand the immigration processes and timelines for EEA and Swiss worker arrivals in the UK post Brexit and what activities their business travellers are performing. An awareness of the restrictions and regimes that will apply to their short–term business travellers to the EEA and Switzerland from the UK as of 1 November 2019 is key. Even organisations with the most Brexit–proof models should be alert to how things may impact both existing and planned workforces in the UK and EU. Ongoing implementation and increasing enforcement of posted worker legislation across the EU brings a whole new dynamic to assessing the risks associated with business travel and short–term mobility.

From 2021, new EU arrivals into the UK are expected to fall under the new immigration landscape. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has advised the Government that it should add digital and IT occupations to the shortage occupation list of foreign workers – this is welcome news as these occupations are in high use in the Financial Services and FinTech industry. If adopted, this would make the process of sponsoring visas for talent from outside the EU significantly quicker and simpler. 

How EY can help 

At EY, we help organisations with their Brexit and beyond Brexit immigration planning in several ways including: 

  • Supporting the evolution of talent and workforce strategies, policies and processes to reflect the restrictions and flexibilities that will accompany the UK’s new post–Brexit immigration system.
  • Providing practical, tried and tested Brexit tools that walk EU staff through the process of registering their status under the EU Settlement Scheme to remain in the UK.
  • Enabling clients to understand the wider people impacts of Brexit through various disciplines within our People Advisory Services (PAS) practice, including Social Security, Assignment Services and Employment Law. 

Summary

With nearly four times as many overseas migrants working in UK FinTech organisations versus the UK workforce in its entirety, it’s imperative that FinTech organisations assess and identify their reliance on EU talent and the impacts of either a ‘deal’ or a ‘no–deal’ scenario. The distinction between ‘business activities’, which can be performed as a visitor and ‘work’, which will need a work permit, will become ever more important when mitigating for the loss of freedom of movement and the flexibility this has enabled in the past.

About this article

By

EY FS Insights

Minds Made for Financial Services