Brexit ‘sees UK finance firms move £900bn to Europe’

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A report into the impact of Brexit on banking and finance firms says some £900bn in financial firms’ assets have been moved out of the UK.

It adds this has cost £3bn-4bn and involves 5,000 expected staff moves or local hires, and that figure will rise.

The study, by capital markets think tank New Financial, says 275 firms have moved some or all of their business with Dublin the most popular location.

It says the hit to London was bigger than expected and would get worse.

“Business will continue to leak from London to the EU, with more activity being booked through local subsidiaries,” said William Wright, founder and managing director of New Financial.

He said this would weaken the UK’s current pre-eminence in financial services and would damage tax receipts.

Dublin benefits

The think tank, which campaigns for Europe to have bigger capital markets, says its report is the most comprehensive study of its type yet.

Its report said a 10% shift in banking and finance transactions would cut income from tax receipts by about 1%.

Its report highlights:

  • Dublin is by far the biggest beneficiary with 100 relocations, well ahead of Luxembourg (60), Paris (41), Frankfurt (40) and Amsterdam (32)
  • The post-Brexit landscape is much more “multipolar” than before: more than 40 firms are moving staff or business to more than one financial centre in the EU

It did add, though, that arrangements made between regulators in the EU and the UK meant the industry was well prepared for whatever form Brexit took.

New Financial breaks down what it calls its “conservative estimates”, and says banks and investment banks are moving around £800bn in assets, asset managers have so far transferred more than £65bn in funds and insurance companies have so far moved £35bn in assets.

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