Brexit Relocation: How will plans shift in 2018?
Authored by: Pankaj Gupta, Managing Director, Synechron Business Consulting, London and
Haydn Lightfoot, Senior Director, Synechron Business Consulting, London
In 2017, many of the top global banks announced preliminary intentions to relocate business operations from UK to other European locations post-Brexit. These preliminary plans primarily included opening of offices in new locations, and conversion of existing entities to allow operations in the EU. Synechron, at that time, analyzed these early responses and found that, at least initially, a majority of major banks stated that they would be implementing a hybrid approach of converting existing entities in the EU as well as opening new offices. Favoured new locations included Frankfurt and Dublin, followed by Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, Milan and Luxembourg.
However, since December 2017, further details have started to emerge regarding post-Brexit transition timelines. In parallel, there continues to be significant debate about the final shape of a post-Brexit arrangement. So, on the one hand, there is uncertainty regarding the post-Brexit regulatory framework. On the other hand, a transition period could allow banks to take a strategic view of their Brexit plans and operational execution, to allow them to continue their core business with minimal impact. However, until the terms of any transition period are agreed upon and made legally robust, banks have to assume conservative scenarios for their planning.