Friday 23 March 2018

Brexiting banks face EU office shortages

British Prime Minister Theresa
British Prime Minister Theresa

Gavin Finch

Banks planning to move staff out of London after Brexit face a stark reality: there isn't much prime real estate up for grabs in rival cities.

Vacancy rates for prime space in the business districts of Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam are at the lowest levels in a decade.

This means there are only a handful of empty and appropriate office buildings in those cities capable of housing the thousands of employees that banks might need to relocate, according to data from property broker Savills.

In Dublin, there are currently no buildings big enough.

"There is no obvious successor to London," said Matthew Fitzgerald, Savills's head of European tenant representations.

"It could take several years to see a financial cluster of a similar scale."

While the banks have so far waited to see what Prime Minister Theresa May's negotiating plan will be, first movers may get an advantage on the limited stock of space.

Bank executives are planning for the worst - an outcome where they lose the right to sell services freely around the European Union from London - and would want to have new or expanded offices set up elsewhere before the end of the two-year Brexit negotiation period.


Irish Independent

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