Brexit hit the UK harder than expected, Reuters

Friday 16 April 2021 14:42 CET | News

UK-based financial companies have shifted USD 1.4 trillion in assets to hubs in the EU due to Brexit, according to a study from New Financial cited by Reuters.

‘We think it is an underestimate and we expect the numbers to increase over time: we are only at the end of the beginning of Brexit’, the study said. The EU has offered Britain little in the way of direct market access for financial services, which were not included in the bloc's trade deal with the United Kingdom from January 2021. ‘That access is unlikely to be forthcoming, so it is perhaps better for the industry to take the damage from Brexit on the chin and focus instead on recalibrating the framework in the UK so that it is more tailored to the unique nature of the UK financial services industry’, the study said.

Some 7,400 jobs have moved from Britain or been created at new hubs in the EU, the study said. Bankers have told Reuters that some staff moves have been delayed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The total of 440 relocations is higher than anticipated and above the 269 in New Financial's 2019 survey. New Financial believes the real number is well over 500. Dublin has emerged as the biggest beneficiary with 135 relocations, followed by Paris with 102, Luxembourg 95, Frankfurt 63, and Amsterdam 48. Banks have moved or are moving over GBP 900 billion in assets from Britain to the EU, while insurers and asset managers have transferred over GBP 100 billion in assets and funds, reducing the UK tax base.

Amsterdam toppling London as Europe's biggest share trading centre since January 2021 has been the most visible sign of Brexit in finance. The study expects that 300 to 500 smaller EU financial firms may open a permanent office in Britain, far fewer than the prevailing forecasts of around 1,000. The City of London will remain the dominant financial centre in Europe for the foreseeable future, but its influence will be chipped away, risking a reduction in Britain's GBP 26 billion annual trade surplus in financial services with the EU, the study added.

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Keywords: Brexit, financial institutions
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: United Kingdom
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