These large companies are leaving the UK because of Brexit

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While the UK is saying goodbye to the European Union, these large international companies are waving goodbye to the UK.

Large multinational companies have not been taking lightly the fact that Britain is leaving the single EU market and customs union. Over the past year, many high-profile firms have announced relocating their European headquarters and thousands of jobs from London to Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt, and even Dubai.

However, some of them, such as Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant, had to cancel a move due to the shareholders’ revolt.

According to EY’s Financial Services Brexit Tracker, financial services companies alone added or will add around 2,000 new European jobs outside the UK as a result of Brexit.

In total, over 7,000 jobs could be shifted from London to other European cities, assumes the report.

In addition, a number of banks are transferring assets worth billions out of the UK in preparation of a no-deal Brexit. Banks are trying to secure rights to serve European customers as British companies might lose “passporting” rights that allow them to sell financial services in the EU single market after Britain leaves the bloc. 

Which countries will attract the most companies leaving the UK?

As a result, many EU member states joined the race to accommodate companies looking for a new home because of Brexit.

Who have been the winners so far? When it comes to financial services, Dublin, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, and Paris are the most popular cities to add jobs, reports EY Financial Services Brexit Tracker.

However, other countries are sharing their success stories too.

The Dutch government reveals that it is in contact with more than 250 companies that are thinking about the possibility to relocate to the Netherlands.

Germany is another country successfully luring companies that are leaving Britain. A German lobby group, Frankfurt Main Finance, has claimed that between €750 billion to €800 billion ($911 billion) in financial assets will move to Germany by March 29, 2019 – the date when Britain leaves the bloc.

While Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, made no secret of its ambitions to overtake London as Europe’s fintech center.

A number of London-based financial technology startups have already applied for licenses in Lithuania seeking to ensure rights to provide financial services after Britain leaves the EU. Some of them also relocated their headquarters and increased the number of staff in the Baltic country.

According to Lithuania’s central bank, 110 licensed companies have been already working in Lithuania’s fintech cluster, while 60 applications are under review at the moment. In terms of licensed fintech companies, Lithuania is the second only to Britain in the EU.

Business Fondue rounds up which large firms announced about their relocation or increased their presence in other European countries in connection with Brexit and where did they go.

Panasonic: to the Netherlands

Japanese electronics firm Panasonic moved its European headquarters from Bracknell (UK) to Amsterdam in October 2018. The company was seeking to avoid potential fiscal obstacles after Britain leaves the EU.

Sony: to the Netherlands

Another Japanese electronics giant, Sony, is also shifting its European headquarters to the Netherlands as a result of Brexit. The move will allow Sony to avoid customs issues after the UK leaves the bloc, said the company in a statement.

Barclay’s: to Ireland

Financial services company Barclay’s is transferring €191 billion ($217 billion) worth of assets from the UK to the Dublin-based branch.

Barclay’s also shifted the ownership of all of its European branches to Dublin and doubled the number of staff in its new base.

Nissan: to Japan

Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan, announced it would stop making the X-Trail SUV at its plant in the UK and will start manufacturing this model back in Japan. The experts believe two factors had the impact on this decision: the falling demand for diesel cars in Europe and Brexit. The company revealed that although “the decision was taken for business reasons, the continued uncertainty around the U.K.’s future relationship with the EU was not helping to plan a future”.

Royal Bank of Scotland: to the Netherlands

Royal Bank of Scotland Group revealed its plans to move almost €7 billion ($8 billion) worth of client assets and €8 billion ($9.3 billion) in liabilities from the UK to the Netherlands in case of a no-deal Brexit.

Revolut: to Lithuania

One of the UK’s fastest-growing financial technology startup, Revolut, got a specialized bank license in Lithuania. It means that the digital bank is allowed to offer current accounts and loans across the EU.

In addition, Lithuania’s central bank issued an electronic money license to Revolut.

HSBC: to France

Due to uncertainty over Brexit deal, Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, has shifted the ownership of a number of its European branches from London to Paris.

However, it is still unclear how many of 1,000 banking jobs will be transferred from London to Paris.

Lloyd’s of London: to Brussels

Insurance company Lloyd’s of London established an insurance company in Brussels in order to remain fully operational in the EU after Brexit.

Aviva: to Ireland

Britain’s insurer Aviva is planning to move €10,5 billion ($12 billion) worth of assets to Dublin.

Goldman Sachs: to Germany

Goldman Sachs is not only expanding the number of staff in its branch in Frankfurt but also opening new offices in Stockholm, Milan, and Dublin.


Japanese car manufacturer, Honda, announced in February 2019 its plans to close a manufacturing plant with 3,500 jobs in the UK by 2021.

Despite Honda’s reassurance that it is not related to Brexit, experts argue that Britain’s decision to leave the EU should have had a great impact.

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