Brexit limbo pushes hundreds of finance companies to leave Britain: report

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Flags of EU and the United Kingdom are seen outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, on Jan. 9. 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

A total of 275 financial firms are known to have moved or are moving part of their business from Britain to the European Union to prepare for Brexit, a report released by a London-based think tank said on Monday.

The report, entitled "Brexit & the City -- the impact so far," was compiled by New Financial, a capital markets think tank.

Among the 275 firms, around 250 have chosen specific post-Brexit hubs for their EU business, and more than 200 firms have set up or are setting up new entities in the EU to manage their business.

"These moves are the inevitable consequence of Brexit," the report said. "The political uncertainty since the referendum and failure to reach a deal has forced firms to prepare for the worst and put their contingency plans into action."

According to New Financial, "much of the damage has already been done, and for many firms Brexit happened sometime last year."

The authors said that "this shift will increase cost, complexity and risk in European financial services, and will reduce Britain's influence in the banking and finance industry both in Europe and in the world." However, they also pointed out that, despite the large number of moves, there was no indication that London was going to lose its position as the dominant financial centre in Europe anytime soon.

The report found that Dublin is the top relocation destination (100 so far), followed by Luxembourg (60), Paris (41), Frankfurt (40) and Amsterdam (32).

According to New Financial's "conservative estimates," banks and investment banks are moving around 800 billion British pounds in assets; asset managers have transferred more than 65 billion British pounds in funds; and insurance companies have so far moved 35 billion British pounds in assets. (1 British pound = 1.31 U.S. dollars)

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