The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has warned that large banks are preparing to relocate from the UK early next year due to Brexit fears.

Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, told the Observer: “Their hands are quivering over the relocate button. Public and political debate in the moment is taking us in the wrong direction.”

With Britain’s future in the single market uncertain following the Brexit vote, banks are reconsidering their position in the UK.

The potential loss of passporting rights has jolted banks into looking at alternative financial centres in the EU, with Frankfurt, Dublin, and Paris often touted as favourites.

At a speech at BBA’s annual conference last week, Browne claimed that banks had already established project teams to “work out what operations they need to move by when, and how best to do it.”

Browne warned that a ‘hardening’ of the mood risked barriers to cross-border banking, which risk harming both the UK and Europe.

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Browne added: “It might lead to a few new jobs moving to Paris or Frankfurt but it will make it more expensive for companies in France and Germany to raise money for investment, slowing the wider economy.”