Financial Services Brexit Tracker: Thousands of financial services jobs to be relocated as firms plan for Day One of Brexit

11 December 2017

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  • Since the Referendum vote, 31% (68 / 222) of companies have said they are considering or have confirmed they are moving some of their operations and/or staff out of the UK
  • 19% (42 / 222) of companies have confirmed at least one relocation destination in Europe, with Dublin and Frankfurt as the frontrunners, attracting 14 and 12 companies respectively
  • More than double the volume of companies have publicly announced job relocation estimates in 2017 compared to 2016, but the overall number of jobs moving is lower

LONDON, 11 MONDAY DECEMBER 2017: According to the latest EY Financial Services Brexit Tracker, a total of 10,500 UK financial services jobs, including many front office roles, could be relocated to the continent in time for Day One of Brexit, with Dublin and Frankfurt emerging as the most popular relocation destinations. To date, 68 of the largest financial services companies in the UK have said they are considering or have confirmed they will move some of their operations and/or staff out of the UK as a consequence of Brexit.

In 2016, 12 financial services firms publicly estimated that 12,500 jobs would move out of the UK as a consequence of any type of Brexit, but a year on, while the number of firms has risen to 26, the total has dropped to 10,500 jobs. In many cases, details of the types of roles that will be relocated is yet to be provided, but the Tracker data confirms they are not primarily back office or support functions; 18 companies have specified the types of work that might move to Europe and, of these, 14 are client facing ‘front office’ roles.

Omar Ali, EY’s UK Financial Services Leader, comments:

“Contingency plans have developed significantly over the last year, putting firms in a stronger position to estimate how many UK jobs they need to move. Firms are working hard to find viable solutions that will allow them to continue to serve their customers and satisfy regulators with the minimum disruption. As a result, many of the jobs that are moving are client facing, ‘front office’ roles to ensure that companies can continue to serve their clients under EU law from Day One. The extent of broader strategic restructurings and relocation plans will of course ultimately depend on the specifics of any long-term UK deal with the EU, but a drop in the volume of jobs moving will be welcome news for the City. Whilst the relocation of this number of roles will have a significant impact on the smaller financial services centres on the continent, it is unlikely in the short term to threaten London’s role as Europe’s main financial hub.

“The increase in the number of firms publicly setting out their contingency plans highlights the level of planning the sector has done. The announcement on Friday from the negotiators on both sides sent a wave of relief across the City, as it signalled an intention to agree a transitional period as early as possible next year and the starting point for negotiations on future trade deals. Both of which are fundamental to avoid adding any additional risks to the system and for the future strength of the UK financial services industry.”

More companies confirming EU relocation destinations in 2017

Since the Referendum vote, nearly a third of financial services companies have said publicly that they are considering moving, or have confirmed that they are moving, some of their operations and/or staff out of the UK. Of these, 26 are universal banks, investment banks or brokerages, 17 are asset managers, 13 are insurance companies, and 12 are FinTechs, retail banks and private equity houses.

Nearly a fifth (19% or 42 out of 222 companies) have now confirmed at least one relocation destination in Europe. Comparing year on year, in 2016, only 4% (8 out of 222 companies) had confirmed a location in Europe, whereas at the same point in 2017, 15% (34 out of 222 companies) have communicated their plans publicly.

Dublin and Frankfurt remain the frontrunners in popularity, attracting 14 and 12 companies respectively since the day of the Referendum result, the majority of which are asset managers, universal banks, investment banks and brokerages. Luxembourg is the next most popular destination, attracting 8 companies, followed by Paris, attracting 6.