Three-quarters of workers in the City plan to quit their jobs in the next five years because they are fed up with job insecurity, bad management, financial worries and fear of terrorism.
Human resources consultancy Chiumento surveyed 400 city workers for their report, 'Facing the Future in the City'. It found that an overwhelming 93 per cent do not want to stay in their current job, with younger staff leading the way.
As well as the 75 per cent intending to leave within five years, nearly half - 45 per cent Ė said they were hoping to quit within two.
Given the chance, over half (57 per cent) said that they would change careers tomorrow and more than three quarters (78 per cent) plan to leave London to pursue their dreams elsewhere. Nearly a third of respondents (29 per cent) said they wanted to move out to the Home Counties, while the same number wanted to emigrate. One in 10 dreamed of living near the sea.
Staff at all levels cited financial insecurity and fear of terrorism as key concerns. One in seven (14 per cent) worried about their pensions, 11 per cent feared for their financial future and nine per cent said they worried daily about terrorism.
The overwhelming message from the report is that job insecurity and poor work-life balance, coupled with poor transport and housing infrastructure and the treat of terrorism, has made London a much less attractive place to work than ever before.
Setting up a small business was the most popular alternative to a City career.
Opinion is divided over whether the jobs will ever return. Those over 45 were the least optimistic about the future The under-35s are more likely to believe that good times would return. Workers in insurance and accountancy were the most pessimistic.
Chiumento managing director Richard Chiumento said: "We must pay heed to the City's elder statesmen, who almost unanimously agree that jobs in the City will never return to boom-time levels. We are working on the basis that the City will downsize its headcount permanently by 25 per cent.
"Many people will have to consider an earnings drop, but with it will come a lifestyle change, providing a more enriched work-life balance.
"In a world where there's little security or certainty, people are taking their lives and careers into their own hands."