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Trickle of traders seen moving to the Far East

Over the last few weeks we have seen a number of prominent traders in the UK moving to Far East operations with Steve Ashley, the Royal Bank of Scotland trader, the latest to make the move. Amid growing concerns that the UK government's 50% income tax rate on banking bonus is a starting to impact on sentiment, there are fears that this trickle could soon become a tidal wave. So what can the government do?

The government is now in a very tricky situation as we approach the next general election and in reality it is unable to announce a U-turn, at least in the short term. In order to differentiate itself from the Tory party the government has attacked the banking sector and banking bonuses and can ill afford to change its stance at this moment in time. Whether we see a softening of the current stance, if the Labour Party is successful at the next election, remains to be seen.

We have seen companies suggesting they could move overseas, we have seen individuals suggesting they may move overseas and we have seen companies looking to invest in the UK holding off for the time being. Whether this is a short-term reactions or a long-term problem is something which the next UK government will have to ponder.

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