August 24, 2019, 21:18


Fleeing a Sinking Ship: New York Becomes World’s Financial Centre Due to Brexit

Fleeing a Sinking Ship: New York Becomes World’s Financial Centre Due to Brexit

The exodus is also seeing homegrown firms leave – Barclays is shifting US$216 billion of assets to its Irish division, and set to become Ireland’s biggest bank in the process. More than 100 UK-based asset managers and funds have also applied to the Irish central bank for authorization in Ireland.

London is losing its status as the world’s most important financial centre to New York because of the Brexit crisis, according to a global survey of 180 senior figures in asset management, private equity, hedge funds, banking and brokerage conducted by consultants Duff & Phelps.

When bosses were asked to name the world’s top financial centre, the UK capital fell to 36 percent year-on-year, with New York rising to 52 percent. Other key European financial centres including Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg also saw higher rankings in the 2019 Global Regulatory Outlook survey.

Looking ahead five years, only 21 percent expected London to be the world’s financial centre, with 44 percent predicting it would be New York.

“Last year, Brexit cast a shadow of uncertainty over the United Kingdom’s economy; it has now escalated to a full-blown crisis. Looking ahead, however, globalisation’s diffusion of influence begins to be apparent: 12 per cent of respondents expect Hong Kong to be the world’s preeminent financial centre five years from now,” Duff & Phelps said.

While Brexit has already been delayed until at least 31st October, ongoing uncertainty and the collapsing value of pound has seen banks, asset managers and insurers to trigger contingency plans and relocate to other parts of Europe. For instance, a Frankfurt lobby group has claimed that between €750 billion to €800 billion (US$911 billion) in financial assets and claims 10,000 jobs will move to the German city by the end of the year.

US banking giants Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup have moved US$283 billion of balance-sheet assets to Frankfurt, Bank of America is spending US$400 million to move staff and operations in anticipation of Brexit, and is trying to persuade London staff to move to Paris.

The exodus is also seeing homegrown firms leave — Barclays is shifting US$216 billion of assets to its Irish division, and set to become Ireland’s biggest bank in the process. More than 100 UK-based asset managers and funds have also applied to the Irish central bank for authorization in Ireland.

France’s BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, and Societe Generale have transferred 500 staff out of London to Paris, while UBS has opened its new EU headquarters. Credit Suisse is moving 250 jobs to Germany, Madrid, and Luxembourg — and in December 2018 told its wealthiest clients to move their money out of the UK quickly.

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