Jessica Fino 8 May 2017 05:19pm

More financial services firms looking to move out of UK

More than a quarter of financial services firms have said they will move some staff or part of their operations out of the UK, or are reviewing their domicile as a result of Brexit

EY's Brexit Tracker found that, while firms intending to move operations out of the UK remain in the minority, there has been a 50% increase in companies publicly voicing an intention to make staff operational changes.

EY monitored 222 financial services companies in the UK and found that 75 of them have not made any public announcements in relation to their future after Brexit.

However, 21 of the 47 investment banks have said they are looking into moving some staff or part of their operations out of the UK, or that they are reviewing their domicile as a result of Brexit. Ten of them have changed their public stance on staffing and operations since the beginning of the year.

Moreover, 10 out of 37 insurers and 12 out of 52 management firms have also shown interest in looking elsewhere in Europe.

Omar Ali, UK financial services leader at EY, said, “The number of financial institutions who are publicly committing to concrete action in response to Brexit has increased, but it’s still a minority and is driven by the tight timetable rather than politics.

“The more complex the organisation, the longer it is going to take to create workable contingency options, and so investment banks in particular are putting their plans on record.”

Ali noted that the majority of firms have so far maintained their commitment to the UK, and are still talking about moving only the resources necessary to maintain a smooth service for their clients.

Also on Monday, EY published its latest global capital confidence barometer that showed British executives are still expecting to remain active in the deals market as they prepare their businesses for Brexit.

More than half (51%) of the companies surveyed in the UK said they were actively pursuing mergers and acquisitions in the next 12 months.

The UK reclaimed its position as the third most attractive destination for deals, after falling out of the top five for the first time last October. The US and China came in first and second place, while Germany and Canada completed the top five.

Nearly one quarter (23%) of global companies reported that clarity over the Brexit negotiations timetable, following the triggering of Article 50, had increased their chances of investing in the country, EY said.