5 Reasons Why Financial Services Are Moving To Dublin In The Lead-Up To Brexit

Young finance market analyst worker in a co-working space with his laptop

The UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020. As the Brexit saga continues, more and more UK businesses have had to consider what their operations will look like in the post-EU landscape.

Banks and other financial services face the possibility of losing their ‘EU passport’ should they not move at least some part of their business to homes outside the UK. The loss of this legal mechanism would prevent them from doing business with other EU countries. As a result, it’s predicted that Brexit could lead to as many as 100,000 jobs moving out of the Big Smoke the so-called “Brexodus”.

A recent survey of UK-based financial firms identified Dublin as among the most popular choices for relocation in the wake of Brexit. 21 out of 59 of the financial services companies surveyed revealed that they are committed to moving staff or operations to the Irish capital. For example, Barclays is transferring 150 jobs and its new EU base to Dublin, and the Bank of America is doing likewise. It is estimated that – in total – approximately 13,000 financial services jobs will move from London to Dublin.

So what makes Dublin so attractive to financial services amongst the uncertainty of Brexit?


1. There is already a strong, established financial services industry in Dublin

Being a crucial hub of financial innovation and security will be nothing new to Dublin following the UK’s divorce from the EU. The city has a long-established authority in the financial market, recovering well from the widespread economic downturn of 2008/2009. It is home to over 400 financial institutions that operate on a global scale, as well as being the fifth largest provider of wholesale financial services currently in the EU – behind Luxembourg, Munich, Paris and London.

In March 2017, the Global Financial Centres Index described Dublin as one of the “15 centres likely to become more significant” (alongside other cities such as Shanghai and Beijing). The GFCI also recognised the city as a “global leader” for the first time.

This glowing resumé certainly suggests that Dublin is well-equipped to handle greater responsibility on the international financial stage.


2. Dublin is a gateway to world markets

Ireland has a reputation as one of the most open and globally connected countries in the world.

As far back as 2013, Forbes rated Ireland as the best country in Europe for doing business. This accolade was further backed-up by some of the biggest companies in the world – Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon – setting up bases there.

The capital has fantastic transport connections to other key countries – both inside and outside the European Union. Thanks to newly-launched services to Boston and Miami, Dublin Airport is now the fifth largest airport in Europe for transatlantic connectivity.

This is only set to grow. New long-haul destinations are planned to be launched in the coming years, connecting the city to Hong Kong and Montreal, for example. Furthermore, a new runway is scheduled to be completed in 2021, opening up connectivity to Southeast Asia, South America and Southern Africa.


Dublin city skyline, looking over the river. The city is home to Us&Co's second co-working business centre


3. The low tax rate in Ireland

An undeniable draw of Dublin is the fact that Ireland has a very competitive tax rate. The 12.5% corporate tax rate for active business is one of the lowest in the world, providing a big advantage over the city’s EU rivals.

There is also a tax relief programme set up to support foreign companies in relocating top staff to Ireland. The Special Assignment Relief Programme (SARP) was introduced in 2012 as part of a push to encourage more multinational companies to send key talent to Ireland. This scheme reduces the cost of moving executives to Ireland and is a large part of how the country has boosted its financial reputation over recent years.


4. English speaking and highly educated workforce

It is much more convenient to move English-speaking London employees to an English-speaking country. While Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris and Amsterdam are attractive to relocating firms for their mainland-Europe location, communication forms a barrier for some staff-members that simply wouldn’t be an issue with Dublin.

However, that is not to say that moving to Ireland would limit interactions with non-English speakers from other European financial hubs. Quite the opposite, as data from the Irish Central Statistics Office shows that over half a million people in Ireland speak a second foreign language fluently. Polish, French and Lithuanian are among the most common second languages in Dublin, followed by German, Russian, Spanish, Romanian, Chinese, Latvian, Portuguese and Arabic. This puts the businesses of the capital in very good stead for interacting with European contacts.

In addition to the high rate of language prowess in Ireland, the country has one of the most highly educated workforces in the world. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development noted that 52% of 25-34 year-olds have a third-level qualification (university standard), compared to the EU average of 42%.

Over 30% of students are enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths courses, with another 20% studying Social Sciences, Business or Law. This is indicative of a very rich pool of talent in Dublin, from which relocating financial firms can hire a high quality of prospective employees.


Us & Co’s Dublin Workspace


In November 2018, Us & Co opened a brand new professional work space and business centre in St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin 2. This city centre location, close to Trinity College, Grafton Street and the seat of the Irish Government, has a reputation as the ‘Mayfair of Dublin’.

The area is strongly favoured by the banking and financial services industry, and many of our members come from that sector – often looking for an alternative to London as a direct result of the UK leaving the European Union.

We provide professional, serviced private offices, co-working memberships (fixed desk or hot desk) and bookable meeting room or event space hire.

If you are interested in enquiring, please give the Us & Co team a phonecall on 020 3031 3535, or use our quick contact form. If you wish to come and have a look around our Dublin workspace at 5 Schoolhouse Lane East, please book a tour here.


Front Of Building Us&co Dublin

Welcome To Us & Co’s Brand New Dublin Work Space

Us & Co is very excited to announce our brand new business centre in St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin 2, which opened its doors in October 2018.

Our contemporary, professional and expertly refurbished building at 5 Schoolhouse Lane East offers both private offices and flexible co-working in an open-plan environment. At both our London Monument centre and in Dublin 2, we pride ourselves on providing our members with a five-star-service in five-star surroundings.

By way of introduction to Us & Co Dublin, this article will tell you the story behind our decision to choose Dublin as the home of our second business centre, the impact of Brexit on business in the Irish capital and why we believe the city has such strong potential.

Us&co dublin breakout space and comfy chairs for professional level coworking in st stephens green

private coworking dedicated hot desks in dublin

Hot desking, private offices or fixed desk coworking spaces in Dublin 2



The Dublin Growth Story

We were keen to grow the Us & Co brand in Dublin, inspired by how well the city has recovered from the problems it suffered following the financial crisis ten years ago.

The widespread economic downturn of 2008/2009 hit Ireland especially hard. It was the first state in the eurozone to officially enter recession, with the Irish Stock Exchange general index plummeting to a 14 year low and the unemployment rate rising from 6.5% to 14.8% in just the space of a year. Dublin, in particular, saw significant unrest – with hundreds of thousands of people demanding that the government to do something about the slumping economy.

Fast forward to 2018 and Dublin is a thriving city, with lots of potential for further growth. It is home to many international companies which are expanding their operations there, making use of the well-educated workforce.

In recent years, Dublin has also established itself as a desirable location for the tech sector. Among others, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb have all set up headquarters there, spawning growth in other businesses providing services to them.

With current Us & Co members coming from a wide range of sectors and businesses, including the tech industries – we realised that Dublin offers a great opportunity for us.


The Impact Of Brexit On Business In Dublin

The impact of the UK referendum result is already noticeable in the city, as – for many companies – Dublin is the best way to access the European Union. The uncertainty of Brexit has meant that many international companies – big and small – have taken the decision to set up bases in Dublin, in order to ensure they can maintain trading relationships within the EU in the medium and long-term.

It is estimated that close to 100 large banks, insurers and law firms are considering Dublin as their EU base and the last two years have seen 1,317 lawyers from England and Wales register for the Roll of Solicitors in Ireland – dubbed an influx of ‘Brexit refugees’. Small businesses, too, are being lured by the Irish city in the wake of Article 50. Back in December 2017, Croke Park stadium in Dublin hosted a dedicated workshop for small businesses around the topic of ‘practical help to navigate Brexit’, which was attended by over 400 small firms.

Companies like these most often want office space with a commitment of two to three years initially, with the opportunity to expand further down the line – which is exactly what we provide at Us & Co with our serviced offices. In fact, we are already seeing direct evidence of this, as our first two clients to take office space at 5 Schoolhouse Lane have selected the Irish capital for this very reason.


What Is The Dublin Co-Working & Private Office Market Like?

The growth of business in Dublin has had an unsurprising knock-on effect on the growth of co-working, hot desking and private office hire in the city, and this market is currently flourishing. As more and more big businesses move to the capital, so too do SMEs, start-ups and freelancers, bringing with them a demand for flexible, professional working space.

The Dublin co-working and private office market is therefore at a really exciting point right now, making the city a clear choice for the Us & Co brand.


Why St. Stephen’s Green?

St. Stephen’s Green is arguably ‘the Mayfair’ of Dublin. It is an extremely prestigious area in which to have an office, favoured by the banking and financial services industry. Many of our Dublin clients come from these sectors.

In addition, the Irish Government, Trinity College and Grafton Street, Dublin’s prime shopping street are all within five minutes’ walk – as are numerous bars and restaurants. This makes the area very attractive to employers and employees of every business and profession and we expect to attract a wide variety of clients.


Bikes In Dublin, Near St. Stephen's Green, the home of Us & Co's Dublin co-working spaceSt Stephen's Green In Autumn, near Us & Co's Dublin co-working space