Three weeks on since the European Union referendum, Britain's has a new Prime Minister and a new Chancellor, but its financial future is none the clearer.

Both Theresa May and Philip Hammond have pledged to swiftly begin negotiations with the EU to deal with the outcome of the pro-Brexit vote. The Chancellor stressed that Britain will go ahead with Brexit but it would seek to negotiate access to the single market for its businesses.

Hammond's pledge must have pleased the City, which had warned against leaving the single market and failing to retain access to the banking passport system, which allows financial institutions authorised to operate in an EU country to conduct business across the union.

In the lead-up to the referendum, a number of financial institutions warned they might relocate away from London following Brexit. However, despite fears of major financial firms opting to leave the capital, some experts believe it is unlikely London would lose its crown anytime soon.

"The prospect of London losing its European financial crown is not, in our view, a danger over the short term," Amanda Foster, global head of financial services at Russell Reynolds Associates told IBTimes UK.

"We will likely see a slow reduction in immediate UK hiring as firms redeploy selected talent to the EU. However, the UK's legal framework, support services and talent depth would be very challenging to replicate in other financial centres."

While an exodus of financial firms might not be on the cards, Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin have all emerged as possible destinations for London-based banks. At the same time, lenders and other financial institutions in Europe have begun drawing contingency plans in the event Britain fails to retain access to the single market.

Speaking to this publication, Erwin Rademakers, managing partner, at Benelux-based law firm AKD said: "Firms are investigating where they can move to, and next to Frankfurt and Paris also Amsterdam is being considered. Luxembourg is especially on the radar for the investment funds."

Canary Wharf
Britain's financial services industry accounts for 10% of the UK economy. Hannah McKay/Reuters

AKD, which has brought forward the opening of a new office in Luxembourg, as a direct result of the Brexit vote, has reported a huge increase in demand for advice from corporate and financial clients following the referendum.

Rademakers added the majority of questions focused on the impact Brexit would have on current contractual arrangements and on the requirements UK firms have to fulfil to facilitate a transfer of their structure and business to the Netherlands.

Clients also want to know "what opportunities there are for UK parties and investors to structure investments and investment plans differently or to be one step ahead of the potential consequences of Brexit," he explained.

Britain's new government has promised negotiations over the country's exit will begin swiftly, while a number of high-profile EU figures have urged the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 as soon as possible. In the meantime, however, the lingering uncertainty is not helpful for firms nor investors, particularly those "who use the UK as there single point of entry to the common market", explained Rademakers.

In his first interview since he was appointed Chancellor, Hammond insisted Britain remained open for business but conceded the Brexit vote had sapped investors' confidence. Whether leaving the EU would translate in the doomsday scenario some predicted before the vote remains to be seen, but the impact on the UK economy could be felt nevertheless.

"A wholesale departure of the financial services industry from London would have a considerable knock-on effect given that this sector accounts for around 10% of the UK's economy," said Foster. "That being said, this mass-migration is not currently on the cards. The UK has 2.1 million people employed in financial services, and any other European capital would struggle to match the depth of talent available here."