Changing Places: The growing opportunities for financial centres in Europe

Brexit is clearly a potential game changer determining the financial services landscape in Europe.

But there is a bigger picture: globalisation, breath-taking advances in technology and the emergence of financial services industries in other regions will all be influential in determining what happens to the European Union’s highly attractive market.

To help provide a clearer picture of what might lie ahead for the EU’s financial centres, Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Managing Partners Group commissioned research among financial services professionals globally.

According to our survey, these professionals expect to see over the next three years a significant increase in financial services companies either re-domiciling to other EU financial services centres or opening new subsidiaries there. In this timeframe, Brexit will be the biggest factor (83% say this) with UK financial services companies wishing to retain access to the EU. But In terms of where new entrants will come from outside of Europe in the longer term, 83% expect to see more financial services companies from China setting up new offices in the EU, followed by America (63%) and other emerging markets (60%).

To attract the attention of these new entrants, Europe’s financial centres will have to ensure they offer the right attributes. Our respondents say the most important attribute is a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework, which 66% of our respondents say is ‘very important’. This is followed by political stability (54% said this was ‘very important’); the tax regime (49%), economic stability (46%) and significant skilled workforce (46%).

Clearly, The EU’s financial services landscape is set to change over the coming years as companies in the sector look to review where they are physically based and ensure they are in the right places to meet their strategic goals. There is huge competition between the main financial centres in Europe to keep the companies they have already but also to attract new ones.

But having all the right attributes will not be enough – these centres will have to ensure their key stakeholders fully appreciate they have the right credentials. They will need to promote themselves, differentiate their propositions in a crowded market and provide clarity around their leadership.

This poses a huge communication challenge for centres as they need to clearly set out their propositions and find ways to differentiate themselves.

To see the full report, click here.

Written by Stephen Sheppard, Director

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