Despite almost three quarters (72%) of the 100 CEOs surveyed by KPMG voting for the UK to remain in the EU, they are confident in the short to medium term for the growth of the economy and their business.
However, over half believe the UK’s ability to do effective business will be hindered after leaving the EU and more worryingly, a majority are considering relocating their headquarters or operations outside the UK.
Simon Collins, KPMG UK chairman, said, “In our own work, we have seen international clients who had been considering basing European headquarters in the UK, opt for Ireland instead. Our latest analysis shows that this effect could be exaggerated by UK companies moving.
Collins warned that government should be “really concerned about a leaching of British business abroad and should engage with business early to understand what assurances they can offer and closely monitor any shifts overseas. Equally, businesses should be sharing their on the ground experiences to convene a unified voice into government.”
A majority of the CEOs, from companies with revenues ranged between £100m and £1bn, said that a societal division between “big business” and the general public contributed to the EU referendum result.
“The trust which was broken by the 2008 crash is far from repaired,” added Collins.
A report yesterday from PwC and CBI revealed confidence in the UK financial services industry deteriorated since the referendum, despite healthy growth in business volumes and profits.