Monday 11 March 2019 12:32 am

Dublin already the big Brexit winner as financial services firms move business out of London

DUBLIN looks set to be the big winner from Brexit as financial services firms move business away from London and “chip away” at the City’s influence.

A study by think tank New Financial found that 269 banking and finance companies have already moved at least part of their business away from London ahead of Britain’s departure from the EU.

But it said that was a significant underestimate and predicted Brexit would “gradually chip away” at the City’s influence both in Europe and around the world, with more staff, business and assets leaving London.

Dublin has been chosen as the post-Brexit location of choice by 100 companies, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and HSBC, while 60 firms, such as Schroders, Janus Henderson and Aviva Investors chose Luxembourg.

The study found that 249 companies had moved primary hubs to the EU, while 213, including the likes of Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, have set up new entities in the bloc, transferring staff as well as billions of pounds in assets.

While more than a third of moves have been to Dublin, banking giants have hedged their bets moving different parts of their operations to different cities.

Goldman Sachs has moved its investment banking and markets divisions to Frankfurt and Paris and shifted its asset management arm to Dublin.

Similarly, Credit Suisse has transferred investment banking to Frankfurt and moved its markets wing to Madrid.

However, with firms spreading their business across a number of cities, London’s dominance looks in Europe looks set to continue, it concluded.

It said: “While the headline numbers are stark, there is no question that London will remain the dominant financial centre in Europe for the foreseeable future.

“Firms are keen to keep as much of their business in London as possible and even the biggest relocations represent a maximum of 10 per cent of the headcount at individual firms.”

Gerard Lyons, economist at the challenger wealth manager Netwealth, said the City’s position was not under threat.

He said: “All the recent evidence suggests it’s quite clear that London will remain the major financial centre in Europe after Brexit.

“Businesses will have to make contingency plans and there will be some changes but there’s no doubt London will maintain that position.”