As the uncertainty of Brexit continues, London-based firms have been assessing their options regarding their access to Europe such as loss of passporting rights, which provides access to the European financial markets and clients. Companies have therefore needed to decide if they are to open an office in the EU and if so, where. The main contenders being Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam.

Source: Forbes

Paris

Paris, a world-class cultural hub, with quick connections to London and an already established financial district of La Defence in the North East of the city, near the wealthy 8th and 16th arrondissement neighbourhoods has been a big draw for the likes of BlackRock, Citigroup and Bank of America. Partly attracted by lower taxes offered by Macron this has been an optimal move for these firms, as with all big cities however, there is also pressure for prime office space and high-end apartments, which has increased with Brexit uncertainty, with relocation consultants seeing a threefold increase in enquiries.  

Frankfurt

Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital is also a prime contender to receive Brexit business with some 45 institutions relocating there, the most notable being Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. It is however a small town, with a population of just 730,000; some suggest that it lacks London’s cosmopolitan buzz or Paris’ cultural je ne sais quoi, whilst at the same time doing little to woo big banks. The federal government in Berlin has however promised to make it easier for banks to set up there and there is potential for Frankfurt to blossom in the wake of Brexit.

Dublin

Dublin have reported that 28 financial services groups have committed to relocate staff and operations to Dublin since the 2016 referendum. Among them are Citigroup, Bank of America, Barclays, Legal & General and Axa. House prices are increasing and rents in the most fashionable suburbs are as expensive as London and Paris. State school placements are full up, which has led to an increase in fee-paying school enquiries. It looks likely that Dublin’s reputation as a welcoming city for both tech and financial institutions will continue to grow and draw a diverse, multicultural work-force, attracted by the opportunities on offer.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam, a European tech hub which houses the EU headquarters of  “cool” brands such as Netflix and is a mostly English speaking city, is however unlikely to become a banking hub – despite Mitsubishi UFJ relocating there – due to it’s 20% cap on bonuses. Further to that and off-putting to those looking at their relocation options, Amsterdam has also been experiencing growing rental prices. The Municipality of Amsterdam has responded by proposing a ban on new-build properties financed with buy-to-let mortgages, targeting landlords seeking to rent out apartments on sites such as Airbnb. But the measure also threatens to limit the supply of housing for workers moving to Amsterdam.

Natasha Cleninngen, article’s author

What is clear is that these cities offer great possibilities and new adventures for those willing and able to relocate. Brexit uncertainty represents an opportunity for city mayors and local and federal governments to capitalise on; political will however will be needed to help the pressure on the cities’ services

Dublin have reported that 28 financial services groups have committed to relocate staff and operations to Dublin since the 2016 referendum. Among them are Citigroup, Bank of America, Barclays, Legal & General and Axa. House prices are increasing and rents in the most fashionable suburbs are as expensive as London and Paris. State school placements are full up, which has led to an increase in fee-paying school enquiries. It looks likely that Dublin’s reputation as a welcoming city for both tech and financial institutions will continue to grow and draw a diverse, multicultural work-force, attracted by the opportunities on offer.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam, a European tech hub which houses the EU headquarters of  “cool” brands such as Netflix and is a mostly English speaking city, is however unlikely to become a banking hub – despite Mitsubishi UFJ relocating there – due to it’s 20% cap on bonuses. Further to that and off-putting to those looking at their relocation options, Amsterdam has also been experiencing growing rental prices. The Municipality of Amsterdam has responded by proposing a ban on new-build properties financed with buy-to-let mortgages, targeting landlords seeking to rent out apartments on sites such as Airbnb. But the measure also threatens to limit the supply of housing for workers moving to Amsterdam.

What is clear is that these cities offer great possibilities and new adventures for those willing and able to relocate. Brexit uncertainty represents an opportunity for city mayors and local and federal governments to capitalise on; political will however will be needed to help the pressure on the cities’ services