Financial Services Ireland

Brexit insights: Managing geopolitical change in a globalised world

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The countdown to Britain’s exit from the European Union in March 2019 is on. While there is still a good deal of uncertainty around how the ‘divorce’ proceedings will play out, organisations that expect to be impacted by the move should now be making and implementing strategic decisions for the future.

In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum in the UK, much of the commentary focused on the short-term impact on the British economy and on business – in particular on financial institutions. Here, we aim to support financial institutions looking to make strategic decisions in the longer term.

Withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019 means that UK institutions will no longer be privy to the four freedoms that underpin the European Single Market; the movement of goods, people, services and capital.

Brexit impact on financial institutions

Global financial institutions with large hubs in the City of London might choose to spread their business divisions or operations across a number of European venues, depending on a wide range of factors including where they already have established entities, local law and cultural fit.

Organisations are likely to make decisions that complement the jurisdictions where they already have an established base and relationship with stakeholders, with Dublin likely to feature highly on many shortlists.

Our legacy relationship with the UK is perhaps one of the strongest in Europe, with significant cultural commonalities, not least the English language. We have a young and well-educated pool of talent with financial services experience, and as we’ve seen with the tech industry, we also have the ability to draw top quality talent from around the world to Ireland.

We’re facing a period of protracted uncertainty, and the challenge for organisations is that they can’t wait for the final negotiated outcome to act – regulators are already asking questions about how organisations will face the change. It’s important to make strategic decisions and put in motion appropriate plans with a purpose, using all available information.

Fidelma Clarke

FS Associate Partner, Risk, Sustainable Finance Lead for Banking & Capital Markets
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