Leaving the European Union could cost Britain’s financial sector as many as 100,000 jobs in the coming years, according to a report published Thursday.
The sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP could shrink by as much as £12 billion ($17 billion) by 2020 if voters choose to drop out of the EU in a June referendum, the study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers said.
The report was commissioned by TheCityUK, a trade body representing the financial services industry. Its authors warned the financial sector would be hit harder than the overall economy because of its reliance on doing business with other EU countries.
The study said finance and insurance generated £65 billion in export earnings for Britain last year, nearly £2,500 per household.
“This contribution is at risk if our trading relationships with Europe and the rest of the world are disrupted by leaving the EU,” said Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser at PwC. “The U.K. could recover some of the loss by striking new trade agreements with our EU partners and other countries, though this is not guaranteed and would take some years to negotiate.”
Vote Leave, the official campaign backing dropping out of the EU, has not responded to CNNMoney’s request for comment.