Almost £800 billion of assets moved from UK to EU over Brexit fears
08 Jan 2019

Faced with increased uncertainty in the outlook over the UK’s relationship with the EU, financial services firms have continued to relocate staff and assets away from London to Europe, in a bid to protect their clients and investors from the impact of any Brexit outcome.

As of 30 November 2018, 36% (80 out of 222) of the companies monitored in EY’s Financial Services Brexit Tracker had publicly confirmed, or stated their intentions, to move some of their operations and/or staff from the UK to Europe – increasing from 31% (68/222) over the last twelve months.

For universal and investment banks, wealth and asset managers and the insurance sector, that number jumps to 48% of firms (68 out of 143).

“Heightened uncertainty [has driven] financial services companies to move almost £800 billion of assets to Europe,” EY said.

Over half (56% or 27 out of 48) of the universal banks, investment banks and brokerages monitored by the Brexit Tracker have said they are considering moving or have confirmed that they are moving some of their operations and/or staff.

This compares to 44% (25 out of 57) of wealth and asset managers and 42% (16 out of 38) of insurers and insurance brokers.

Omar Ali, UK Financial Services Leader at EY, said: “The closer we get to 29 March without a deal, the more assets will be transferred and headcount hired locally or relocated. Inevitably, the contingency plans are for Day 1 only, and in the event of “no deal” will represent the tip of the iceberg as longer term plans will be more strategic and extensive than those publicly announced to date.”

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