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Brexit & the Dublin Financial Services Industry

24 May 2016

John Howe

On June 23rd Britain will vote on whether or not to stay in the European Union. The term “Brexit” has been around since approximately 2012 when serious rumblings from our British neighbours began to appear in relation to the pros/cons of remaining in the EU.

Brexit could put more than 100,000 Financial Services jobs at risk in the UK and undermine London’s position as a Financial Services hub in Europe, John Howe, Manager of Brightwater’s Funds Services Specialist division, reckons that the outlook is bright, regardless of the outcome:

As many Financial Services professionals will appreciate, everything is in at state of limbo at the moment. If you’re working in Financial Services and wondering whether that promotion or pay rise on the horizon, know that you’re not alone. Many key decision makers are based in London or New York and are postponing decisions until they know more. This is being felt, are probably more so in Financial Services than any other sector – there has been recruitment growth across industry and commerce in the last 6 months and this can be seen in particular in the SME market here in Ireland. The ripple effect can also be felt by those on the periphery of the Financial Services world in operational support functions such as; HR and Finance who are also feeling the pinch. With Brexit, change is coming, but you only stand to benefit from it.

The IFSC practically started out as simple service operations centre, selected for its proximity to London. Over time it gathered enough momentum that we could demonstrate that we can stand alongside the likes of Paris, Luxembourg and London. Many international companies based in London have support offices in Dublin and nationwide. Therefore it could be a likely outcome that should Britain decide to exit the EU, Dublin would be a natural and very suitable alternative in terms of a talented, native English speaking workforce with a strong Financial Services infrastructure. On more than one occasion, it has been pointed out by clients that although offices in Dublin were initially set up to take advantage of the low cost and tax incentive, we have proved ourselves a talent to be reckoned with. So what if Britain stays? Simply put, the ambiguity goes and we continue with business as usual. It makes sense that we can benefit from this, the only way is up!

Want to monitor the opinion polls for yourself? The Financial Times poll tracker makes for fascinating and addictive viewing! In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Brexit.”

Connect with John Howe on Linkedin