Businesses warning of severe implications following Brexit vote


Businesses have begun reacting to Britain's decision to pull out of the European Union, with several warning of severe implications.

Estate agent Foxtons issued a profit warning and said that the upturn it had expected in the second half of the year is "now unlikely to materialise", adding that annual earnings will be "significantly lower" than in 2015.

Chief executive Nic Budden said: "The result of the referendum has increased uncertainty and is likely to mean that these trends continue for at least the remainder of the year."

On Friday, British Airways owner IAG also warned that profits would take a hit following the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Rival easyJet has since followed suit, pointing to a host of events that will see it take a £28 million hit following two months of turbulence, adding that Brexit would also have a negative impact on the airline.

EasyJet said that it anticipates economic and consumer uncertainty this summer and, as a result, revenue in the second half will be down by "at least a mid-single digit percentage".

Job losses could also be on the horizon, with workers in the Square Mile braced for months of pain as banks and financial institutions begin the process of considering staff cuts or relocation to Europe in the wake of Brexit.

JP Morgan, HSBC and Goldman Sachs all said prior to the vote that thousands of jobs in the City of London could be moved to the continent in the event of Brexit.

HSBC boss Stuart Gulliver said in February that a vote to leave could see 1,000 London-based investment bankers move out of London to Paris. Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan, said earlier this month that up to 4,000 jobs could be hit.

Fresh research from the Institute of Directors shows that one in four business leaders plans to freeze recruitment in the wake of the referendum result, with many considering moving work abroad.

A poll of more than 1,000 members of the Institute found two out of three believe Brexit will be negative for their business. A third said hiring will continue at the same pace, but a quarter will put a freeze on recruitment - and 5% will make redundancies.