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Brexit Led Over 440 Finance Firms to Shift Some Business to EU

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 4/15/2021 Tom Metcalf

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K.’s departure from the European Union pushed more than 440 financial firms to move at least some of their operations, staff, assets or legal entities from Britain to the bloc.

That includes 126 asset management firms, 81 banks and 65 insurers, according to a report published Friday by New Financial, a London-based think tank.

chart: Sector Shifts © Bloomberg Sector Shifts

The moves have so far resulted in about 7,400 job relocations and about 900 billion pounds ($1.2 trillion) of assets have also shifted, roughly matching earlier estimates from consultancy EY.

London’s future as a financial center has been in the spotlight after Brexit came into effect at the start of the year. Trading in European shares quickly moved away from the British capital while hopes for unhindered access to EU markets -- via a process known as equivalence -- have long gone.

Read more on London’s future as a financial center


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There’s little consensus on Europe’s next financial hub, with London’s outgoing assets shared out among cities including Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin, according to the report.

“Firms are migrating to or expanding in multiple financial centers as many firms have either split the location of their EU business by division, or have responded to Brexit by spreading their staff more evenly across the EU,” New Financial said.

More changes are coming, according to the think-tank.

“Given the limited equivalence arrangements in place, over time we expect there to be a drip-feed of business and activity from the U.K. to the EU,” Managing Director William Wright said. “As the EU takes a tougher line on the location of activity and individuals we expect these headline numbers to increase in future.”

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