Canary Wharf
Europe's biggest financial centre is located in London Hannah McKay/Reuters

Job vacancies in Britain's financial sector suffered a sharp decline after the country voted in favour of leaving the European Union, data released on Friday (23 September) showed.

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), job openings in the financial sector plunged 10.1% across England, falling in every region during July and August. The think tank attributed the decline to concerns over whether the UK will retain its passporting rights and access to the single market.

London recorded a 13.6% drop in job adverts, including for administrators, managers and chief executives, while job postings fell 12.8% in the North East, and saw an 11.4% and 11.2% decline in the North West and in Yorkshire and the Humber respectively.

"This new data shows the immediate impact that the vote to leave the European Union appears to be having on the finance sector," said Clare McNeil, IPPR associate director for work and families.

"As one of our largest sectors, the financial sector is vital to the wider well-being of our economy."

Earlier this week, a letter by Andrew Bailey, the head of the Financial Conduct Authority, revealed that 5,476UK firms currently hold a total of 336,421 EU passports.

The European banking passport system allows banks and other financial institutions authorised to operate in an EU country, or a state member of the European Economic Area (EEA), to conduct business across the union.

"The prime minister needs to end doubts around whether the government will pursue access to the single market and passporting rights as high priorities in the Brexit negotiations," McNeil added.