Up to 7,000 city jobs 'set to relocate to EU'

Financial services companies look to establish European Union hubs post-Brexit however current political uncertainty requires planning for all scenarios.

Bank coins against background of EU flag
Plans by London-based financial services firms to relocate staff to new, European hubs are gathering pace as Brexit looms ever larger.

Financial services companies to establish European hubs

The latest EY Brexit Tracker found that 36 per cent of all 222 financial services companies surveyed were committed to, or were deliberating, establishing European hubs. The figure rose to 56 per cent among banks and brokerages.EY estimated that up to 7,000 jobs could be relocated to Europe "in the near future" with about 2,000 new posts being created on the continent because of Brexit.The professional services firm's tracker also found that 20 companies had announced plans to transfer some £800 billion of assets – chiefly client cash and investments such as stock and bond holdings – out of London before the UK leaves the EU on March 29.

City firms lead with Brexit contingency plans

Omar Ali, UK financial services leader at EY, said, “In anticipation of the parliamentary vote in January, the City will be watching closely to see if the proposed Brexit deal will be accepted or whether it’s back to the drawing board for the government."As things stand, and per regulatory expectations, financial services firms have no choice but to continue preparing on the basis of a 'no deal' scenario.“The City is further ahead in implementing its Brexit contingency plans than many other sectors and our numbers only reflect the moves that have been announced publicly. We know that behind the scenes firms are continuing to plan for a 'no deal' scenario."The closer we get to March 29 without a deal, the more assets will be transferred and headcount hired locally or relocated. Inevitably, the contingency plans are for Day One only, and in the event of 'no deal' will represent the tip of the iceberg as longer-term plans will be more strategic and extensive than those publicly announced to date.”

Paris, Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg among the cities attracting companies

EY found that 67 out of the 222 firms monitored had now confirmed they were moving to, considering moving to, or adding staff in at least one location in Europe - up from 55 in the tracker published three months ago.Dublin attracted six and Paris attracted five more financial services companies from September to the end of November, EY reported."A total of 27 companies have now confirmed they are moving or adding some staff and/or operations to Dublin, up from 21 last quarter. Paris has gained in popularity, with 15 companies confirming they are moving or adding some staff and/or operations to the French capital, up from 10 last quarter," said the report."Two more companies confirmed plans to move or add some staff and/or operations to both Frankfurt and Luxembourg, with the numbers rising from 15 to 17 and 14 to 16 in the last quarter, respectively."While an increasing number of companies are now firming up plans to move staff to the continent, the numbers involved still represent only a small percentage of the 396,000 people employed in financial services in the City of London.

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