A poll of firms looking to leave the UK as a result of Brexit found Dublin is the most popular choice for relocation, with 21 firms out of 59 across financial services sectors having committed to relocating staff or operations here.
The EY Brexit Tracker placed Frankfurt in Germany as the second-most popular destination for companies looking to relocate as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU – the so-called Brexodus of jobs.
The German financial hub has attracted 15 companies, including three banks, since June. Luxembourg, Paris, Milan and Madrid have also picked up business.
While large banks moving significant numbers of staff are the most prized relocations wins, the EY data is based on a wider survey of 222 banks, asset managers, private equity firms, insurers and fintech firms.
Ireland is well placed to pick up investment said Neil Gibson, chief economist at EY Ireland, but he said firms won’t make their final decisions on how to respond to Brexit until the situation becomes clearer.
“The potential for firms to ramp up their presence depending on the final deal agreed between the EU and Britain means that this could be just the beginning of a significant new chapter for Dublin’s financial sector,” he said.
EY’s banking sector leader in Ireland, Cormac Murphy, said that a particularly high regulatory bar to entry for banks, enforced by the Central Bank has not extended to other financial services.
“The single supervisory mechanism (SSM) and Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) have been clear on the high benchmark for banking, but we are not seeing this read across from regulators into asset management and insurance. The Banking Union is becoming the Financial Services Union – accelerated by Brexit.”
Meanwhile, former AIB chief executive David Duffy, who now heads UK lender CYBC, warned that the UK’s fintech sector needs to do more to “fend off the advances of our European neighbours” in an article in London’s ‘City AM’ newspaper. Mr Duffy is promoting the sector as the UK government “fintech envoy”.
This article was originally published in the Irish Independent on October 2 2018.