Monday 22 February 2021 6:00 am

London holds firm as financial services centre of Europe

Many European financial services firms are applying for permission to operate in the UK, signifying London will continue to be a leading player on the global financial stage post-Brexit.

Nearly 1,500 EU-based financial services firms have applied for permission to operate in the UK, with around 1,000 of those planning to establish their first UK office, according to a freedom of information request.

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More than 100 retail and wholesale banks plan to move to or boost their presence in the UK, as well as over 400 insurance and insurer intermediary firms.

Ireland, France and Germany were the countries with the largest number of firms to apply for permission to operate in the UK.

Bovill managing consultant Mike Johnson said the numbers suggested London would remain a “key global financial centre”.

“Since many of these European firms will be opening offices for the first time, this is good news for UK professional advice firms across multiple industries including lawyers, accountants, consultants and recruiters. Business from these firms should provide a welcome boost to the service sector – the powerhouse of the UK economy.”

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Johnson said reaching a decision on financial services equivalence between the EU and the UK was important, noting that Amsterdam recently overtook London as Europe’s largest share trading centre.

He continued: “The numbers from the FCA suggest that financial services firms across Europe recognise London’s potency as a global financial centre and want to be able to conduct business here. Regulatory equivalence decisions would therefore benefit businesses on both sides of the channel.”