Dublin most popular city for Brexit relocations by financial firms

EY says total number of job relocations from Britain since referendum is almost 7,600

The IFSC and Dublin port. Dublin remains the most popular choice for UK financial services firms to relocate staff or operations to. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dublin remains the most popular choice for UK financial services firms to relocate staff or operations to, with 36 firms saying they have confirmed or are considering relocating to the city, according to new data from EY.

The latest Financial Services Brexit Tracker, published on Tuesday, also finds that 43 per cent (95 out of 222) of financial services firms have publicly stated they have moved or plan to move some UK operations and/or staff from the UK to Europe.

That takes the total number of job relocations since the Brexit referendum in mid-2016 to almost 7,600, up from 7,500 in October 2020.

Four in 10 firms have confirmed at least one location in Europe where they are moving to or are considering moving or adding staff and/or operations to, while 12 per cent of firms have confirmed multiple locations in Europe.


Of the 36 firms who they have confirmed or are considering relocation to Dublin, nine are universal banks, investment banks and brokerages; 18 are wealth and asset managers; and six are insurers or insurance brokers.

After Dublin, Luxembourg is the second most popular destination for financial services firms and has attracted 29 companies in total. Fourteen of these are wealth and asset managers, while six are universal banks, investment banks or brokerages.

Frankfurt has attracted 23 companies, while 20 say they are considering or have confirmed relocating operations and/or staff to Paris. Other named locations include Madrid (8), Amsterdam (8), Brussels (6), and Milan (5).

Competitive location

EY Ireland’s Simon MacAllister said: “Ireland Inc must continue to ensure they work to make Ireland an attractive and competitive location, and that competitiveness must be across the key areas of cost of living, with a particular focus on housing, as well as talent and regulatory.”

A total of 89 firms have named at least one European relocation destination to move staff and/or operations to. Of these 68 per cent of universal banks, investment banks and brokerages named Frankfurt, 50 per cent named Paris, and 32 per cent named Dublin.

More than half of wealth and asset managers named Dublin and 42 per cent named Luxembourg, while 37 per cent of insurers and insurance brokers monitored named Dublin, 25 per cent named Brussels, and 25 per cent named Luxembourg.

Twenty-four of the largest financial services firms (10 banks, nine insurance providers, and five wealth and asset managers) have so far transferred or announced an intention to transfer assets out of the UK to Europe due to Brexit.

Not all firms have publicly declared the value of the assets that could be transferred, but of those that have EY estimates the figure to be almost €1.5 trillion, up from almost €1.4 trillion in October.


EY Ireland chief economist Neil Gibson said the picture was positive for Ireland.

“Our data shows that even in the grip of a pandemic, firms are still making decisions to move people and assets to respond to the reshaped geo-political landscape. Sitting atop European charts has become an encouragingly welcome trait for Ireland, with economic growth and tax-receipt data likely to mimic its performance in the tracker.

“Rising costs remain the one potential brake on the positive momentum, and this is certainly an angle competitor cities are using to try to compete with Dublin for post-Brexit relocations.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter