Thursday 21 March 2019 4:12 pm

City firms to shift £1 trillion in assets to EU as Brexit contingency plans take action

Reporter at City A.M. covering banking, markets and insurance

Reporter at City A.M. covering banking, markets and insurance

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The City’s financial services firms have moved around £1 trillion of assets to Europe as the sector puts Brexit contingency plans into action.

Companies have also increased job relocation in the last few months with around 7,000 set to move to Europe, according to EY.

Read more: Sterling slides to fresh one-week low against dollar amid Brexit gloom

The company’s latest financial services Brexit tracker revealed that companies have announced the transfer around £1 trillion of assets, up from £800bn at the end of November last year.

It said 52 per cent of global banks, investment banks, brokerages, wealth and asset managers and insurers have now confirmed intentions to move some operations to Europe.

EY’s head of UK financial services, Omar Ali said: “As the 29 March draws nearer, companies are reconfirming or revising the statements they have made about the extent of staff and operational changes they are making.

But we are not seeing many last-minute surprises – firms are executing their plans as expected.”

He added: “Continued uncertainty will undoubtedly lead to more assets and people being transferred from the UK and not necessarily to the EU.”

EY said the £1 trillion figure was a “conservative estimate” and expected it to increased as Brexit approaches.

Read more: More than 1,000 EU firms sign up to maintain City access in no-deal Brexit

Dublin remained the most popular destination of choice, but the gap has closed with Frankfurt and Luxembourg not far behind.

“The City is resilient and it will remain the dominant European financial centre, thanks to the breadth of capabilities and the depth of its capital markets, but there is no room for complacency,” Ali said.