A leading recruiter denies that the bonus tax will trigger a meaningful exodus

Commenting on the pre-budget report and the instigation of the bank bonus tax, Ken Brotherston, CEO of GRS Kinsey Allen, said: “The announcement of the higher rate of tax for bonuses for top earning bankers today has inevitably led to claims of a massive brain-drain of our best talent. Whilst it is clear that recent changes to tax allowances and rates now may make the UK less competitive, the key question, at least in the short term is: where will they go? In considering whether a candidate will relocate you must always consider a whole host of personal factors: a spouse's career, schools, climate, age of parents, language barriers, social life and so on. The idea that a senior executive will quickly and easily up sticks to another country is simply not true and the government know this."

He added: "Clearly society has legitimate concerns about the bonus culture, even when those bonuses are paid from banks which did not get 'direct' Government support; whether the furore around bonuses is fair or not, the outcry reflects how people perceive this issue so something clearly had to be done. A one-off hit like this may be the best way of restoring some semblance of respectability around the city and I can't believe it will trigger a meaningful exodus - it's a global crisis after all.”