Factors Influencing Finance Sector Relocations

Finance sector teams are on the move!


China, the United States and the United Kingdom are the largest banking countries in the world. However, times are changing. Brexit and emerging financial centres are challenging London and New York for the top financial recruitment locations, impacting where financial institutions are based.

Factors influencing finance sector relocations

  • Brexit

EY’s Financial Services Brexit Tracker reports: “44% of financial services firms have now moved or plan to move some UK operations and/or staff to the EU since the referendum.” Before Brexit, these financial firms indicated they would move staff abroad and relocate their headquarters. While many firms finalised essential operational moves ahead of the 2020 Brexit deadline, a stabilised need for international relocations remains. The number of announced Brexit-related job relocations from the UK to Europe fell to just above 7,000 in the first quarter of 2022. (The peak was in 2016, with 12,500 staff relocations announced.)

  • Joining forces

Another factor influencing the location of financial organisations is the exploration of partnerships and mergers and acquisitions. These actions have emerged as financial organisations seek to achieve business resilience and acquire new markets.

“Acquisitions can enable new value propositions, lead to cross-selling opportunities, and penetrate new customer segments,” explains CapGemini in its Top Trends in Retail Banking 2023 report. Realising the benefits of acquired talent (alongside technology and new product segments) is likely to involve international relocation support.

  • Relocation destinations

Brexit has undoubtedly influenced operational moves within the sector. EY’s Financial Services Brexit Tracker confirm that 41% of firms have moved – or are considering moving – to at least one location in Europe. The most popular destinations are:

  1. Dublin
  2. Luxemburg
  3. Frankfurt
  4. Paris
  • Commitment to London and the UK

A growing number of employees are recruited in London, demonstrating the finance sector’s commitment to its traditional stronghold. New cities are emerging as exciting bases for the industry. This creates a growing demand for relocations between London to new locations enabling knowledge transfer of company culture and processes. International relocations offer the benefits of enabling new sites to achieve optimum productivity quickly. Asian centres such as Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong are emerging financial hubs, along with United Arab Emirates locations (Dubai, Abu Dhabi).

“These factors demonstrate the need for financial organisations to access international relocation management support,” says Barrie Gilmour, Director Client Experience at BTR International. “Flexible, bespoke services and a proven global network of partners enable employees to relocate to new roles and destinations as seamlessly as possible, with minimal stress.”

Do you manage your organisation’s global mobility programme?

Do you relocate assignees to or from the UK?

Contact Barrie direct on +44 (0)7957 625 406 for an initial discussion without jargon, cost or commitment. Our services are entirely bespoke, reflecting corporate requirements and assignee needs. Let’s talk.

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