Posts Tagged ‘united kingdom’
Bloomberg View’s Mark Gilbert writes about the advantages, and disadvantages, of London’s different Eurozone competitors for its financial industry. Paris seems to come out broadly in the lead.
Have you heard? The platforms of London’s St. Pancras train station and the departure lounges of its airports are packed with anxious investment bankers, ordered by their employers to relocate following Brexit.
Of course, that isn’t happening at all; the U.K. decision to leave the European Union hasn’t prompted an overnight exodus. But the banks that warned they’d consider moving thousands of staff out of a non-EU Britain are surely assessing “the next two weeks, two months and two years,” as consultancy firm KPMG put it when appointing one of its senior partners to be head of its new Brexit division. “The French government, the German government, a number of governments, are making, if I may call it this way, a case for people to move to their jurisdiction,” UBS Chief Executive Officer Andrea Orcel said on Tuesday. So which competing financial center looks most attractive?
On cost-cutting grounds alone, there are a number of options. London regularly vies with Hong Kong as the most expensive world city for renting office space. It ranks second according to figures compiled by real-estate firm CBRE for the first quarter of this year, with Paris 14th, Dublin at 30th and Frankfurt down at 47th. For a bank seeking a cheap European office, Frankfurt and Luxembourg look the best bets:
For a human resources department seeking the best overall environment for its employees, Frankfurt also looks attractive. In its annual scorecard of cities based on overall quality of life, including considerations such as political stability, economic backdrop, personal freedom and school systems, the consulting firm Mercer ranks the German financial capital as the seventh best place to live. Its 2016 ranking of 230 cities puts Luxembourg 19th and Dublin 33rd[.]
Bankers ordered to relocate can anticipate lower housing costs wherever they end up. For city-center apartments, London is the second most expensive city in Europe after Monaco, with Paris third at almost half the cost, and Luxembourg 10th. Frankfurt and Dublin, though, are even cheaper[.]
Bloomberg’s Lisa Freisher looks at why one Welsh steel town dependent on EU funding counterintuitively voted for Brexit. Desperation, blind desperation, seems key.
On the eve of the Brexit vote, nearly all official voices were nudging residents of the steel town of Port Talbot, Wales, to vote to remain in the EU: A healthy chunk of the steel produced locally was shipped into Europe, and the EU sent millions of pounds to aid the local economy.
The message came from management at the giant mill, owned by Tata Steel. Union bosses. Local politicians. But those voices from above seemed to only repel residents fed up with the status quo.
Protesting decades of industrial decline while London thrived, 57% of the 75,652 people who voted in this once proud region of steel production decided to take a chance and leave.
“All I’ve ever seen was a decline in the steel works,” said Andrew Clarke, 30, who finally got a job at the plant two years ago as a crane driver, only to watch his father laid off from the plant this year. “People might maybe losing pensions, maybe losing bonuses, maybe losing holidays.”
The town was one of many places across England and Wales where people voted against what a host of experts and government officials said were their own self interests, in favor of an unknown alternative. In Sunderland, where Nissan employs 6,700 autoworkers on the northeast coast of England, Leave won 61% to 39%. In Cornwall, after its residents voted to leave, local officials asked for reassurance after the vote that £60 million ($80 million) in annual EU support would be replenished.