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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

More than 1,000 European financial firms to open UK offices after Brexit

Over 1,000 insurers, asset managers, banks and other financial services companies intend to set up an office in the UK for the first time after Brexit.

EU firms to move to UK post-Brexit ©Shutterstock
EU firms to move to UK post-Brexit ©Shutterstock

That is according to the findings of a freedom of information request (FOI) by consultancy firm Bovill, which suggest that London looks set to remain Europe’s financial capital.

The FOI found that Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had received a total of 1,441 applications to use the temporary permission regime (TPR) by October 2019,

This allows European Economic Area (EEA) firms and funds to continue to operate in the UK after Brexit when the current passporting system becomes defunct.

Of the companies applying to use the TPR, 83% operate under a ‘service’ passport without a UK office, suggesting that over 1,000 will be moving to Britain for the first time.

This comes after separate research indicated that thousands of financial services jobs could leave the UK after Brexit.

“Although much attention has been given to the number of UK firms moving staff and operations into Europe, there is also likely to be movement in the opposite direction," said Bovill consultant Michael Johnson.

"Many have recognised for some time that London remains Europe’s only truly global financial centre, and firms on the continent with global aspirations will need to continue to do business here.”

The FOI also reveals the breakdown of the type of firms applying to use the TPR, with more than 100 banks likely to set up a London office for the first time or boost their UK presence.

Companies planning to move span all sectors in financial services, including asset managers, insurers, exchanges and FinTech firms.

Ireland had the highest number of companies making TPR submissions on 228. Second was France on 170 submissions, with Cyprus and Germany third and fourth on 165 and 149 respectively.

“In practical terms, these figures mean that European firms will be buying office space, hiring staff and engaging legal and professional advisers in the UK," Bovill partner, Ed O'Bree, said.

"This augurs well for the UK economy, as the country will retain its reputation as a prime location for financial services in Europe.”

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