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

About 1,000 EU financial services firms plan to open offices in the UK after Brexit to serve British clients in a sign Britain will remain the continent’s banking hub.

By October last year 1,441 EU-based firms had applied to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for temporary permissions to operate in the UK after Brexit, according to figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request from regulatory consultancy Bovill.

Over 1,000 of these firms do not currently have an office in the UK, suggesting they intend to establish their first office after the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January.These figures clearly show that many firms see the UK as Europe’s premier financial services hub”

Firms from Ireland (228), France (170), Cyprus (165), and Germany (149) have already applied for temporary permits. The investments will offset British firms’ opening new offices on the mainland.

The new offices would also help financial firms counter the loss of business as unrestricted two-way access between the UK and EU comes to an end in December following a Brexit transition period.

Michael Johnson, of consultancy Bovill, said: “These figures clearly show that many firms see the UK as Europe’s premier financial services hub.”

The FOI also reveals the breakdown of the type of firms applying to use the temporary permit, 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.

Consultants EY said that large UK-based firms had now implemented plans enabling them to continue operating in the EU after Brexit. It maintained its estimate that around 7,000 positions would be relocated from London to the continent and a further 2,400 jobs created and hired for locally at the new EU hubs.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is to lay out his vision for new trade deals with the EU and the US in a major speech next month. However, he will not use the word ‘Brexit’ as aides say “the country wants to move on”.