SCOTTISH Financial Enterprise has said the UK Government must ensure firms like banks retain as much access to the European single market as possible after a report warned a hard Brexit could cost up to 75,000 jobs.

The report by Oliver Wyman underlined the challenges firms in the financial services sector would face if the UK Leaves the European Union without their access to the single market being preserved.

The consultancy said UK-based financial services businesses could face severe restrictions on their ability to trade in the EU. This could result in the loss of up to 35,000 jobs and £5bn annual tax revenues.

The knock-on effect could put a further 40,000 jobs and £5bn annual tax receipts at risk.

Oliver Wyman said only around 4,000 jobs would be lost if the UK agrees a deal to leave the union that allows firms to retain the access to the single market they enjoy currently.

The chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise Graeme Jones said: “As the report states, the scale of the impact on the industry across the UK will depend on what access is retained to the EU and under what terms.”

Last week Mr Jones told MSPs Scotland’s financial services firms must retain the passporting rights under which they can sell freely across the EU.

He said the report highlighted the importance of issues such as passporting and the need for an agreed transitional period.