Has the Irish Financial sector gained from Brexit?
135 companies have relocated their headquarters from London to Dublin since the 2016 referendum result.
As of January 1st 2021, UK-based financial institutions lost access to the EU’s Single Market as a result of Brexit. If these institutions wish to continue serving EU customers, they must be granted equivalence rights, under which the EU allows them to conduct certain financial activities. So far, only a handful of these have been granted.
For a while now, experts and commentators have said that Ireland’s financial sector would benefit from financial institutions previously based in the UK, needing to find a new European hub to gain access to the Single Market. So, has this come to pass?
Ireland attracted 32 financial-service based projects in 2018 compared to 28 the previous year. This was a direct result of a 23% increase in financial services – related investment in Europe overall.
In 2019, it was reported that Dublin was the most popular city for Brexit relocations, ahead of Luxembourg and Frankfurt. Dublin has retained its popularity with a survey by thinktank New Financial found 135 companies had moved their HQ from Britain to Dublin. There is no breakdown available of precisely how many jobs have been created as a result of this but there’s no doubt that the finance sector has benefitted.
As well as that, Ireland has created over 1,000 public sector jobs as a direct result of Brexit. These jobs were necessary to prepare for the incoming changes and are spread across customs, revenue, passports and regulation. These jobs were always going to be required, just be the sheer amount of administration and paperwork that is generated from Brexit.
Though the pandemic has interrupted job creation, there is no doubt that Ireland’s financial sector will continue to reap the benefits of Brexit. There is plenty to be optimistic about!