The UK's financial services sector opposes even tougher Tier 2 visa restrictions that will prevent skilled non-EU professionals from coming to the UK. The country's financial services firms are growing increasingly concerned that proposed changes to Tier 2 visa rules for non-EU workers will leave the sector struggling to recruit top talent.
A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) shows that 73 per cent of finance workers think that government proposals to further reduce non-EU worker numbers would be detrimental to the UK economy in the long-term. Tightening Tier 2 visa rules would further reduce the financial sector's ability to recruit the best talent from around the world.
The CISI boasts 40,000 members employed across financial sector areas that include: capital markets, compliance, corporate finance, operations, risk and financial planning and wealth management. The survey attracted 828 respondents, with nearly three in four financial firms in agreement that a Tier 2 visa cap would hit the UK economy hard, long-term.
Simon Culhane, the chief executive of CISI, said: "The foundation, on which London's attractiveness as an international financial services centre was built over the years, has been achieved with the help of the same global talent pool the government now wants to drain."
"The outcome of the survey demonstrates the strength of feeling that exists concerning the issue of recruiting highly-skilled non-EU workers," Mr Culhane added.
Tier 2 Visa Survey receives over 40 comments
The CISI survey ran 24 September – 10 November 2015 and received over 40 comments with responses for and against a Tier 2 visa cap. One respondent, who opposed the cap, said: "This [a Tier 2 visa cap] will result in smart people heading to places like Hong Kong, Singapore and the US. At the end of the day, when it comes to financial markets, it's the survival of the fittest.
Long-term, 30-40 years down the line, Singapore and Hong Kong will perform better than the UK and big investment firms will try to focus their talent pool and head offices in those areas. I 100% agree that a Tier 2 visa cap will negatively impact the UK's financial services sector. The government should not take the same approach as the US and start capping visas."
A respondent in favour of a Tier 2 visa cap said: "Non-EU workers aren't familiar with the UK's or the EU's financial markets, hence turning them away will not affect hiring the best, because often the best comes from those who can associate with the environment."
Migration Advisory Committee consultation on Tier 2 Visas
Following May's General Election, UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to present proposals that would help reduce migration to the UK from countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). It was suggested to MAC by the Government that there should be an increase in the salary threshold for skilled workers entering the UK on Tier 2 visas. This would help reduce the number of skilled workers entering the UK on Tier 2 visas.
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