Making the Best of Brexit for the EU-27 Financial System

André Sapir (Bruegel), Dirk Schoenmaker (Bruegel and Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Nicolas Véron (PIIE)

Policy Brief
17-8
February 2017
Photo Credit: 
REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

As a consequence of Britain’s exit from the European Union, UK-based financial firms are expected to lose their regulatory passport to do direct business with their clients in the EU-27. Brexit will lead to a partial migration of financial services activities from London to locations in the EU-27 to continue serving their customers there. Other London-based activities might also be relocated to non-European jurisdictions, primarily the United States. This Policy Brief focuses on the implications of Brexit for the EU-27 financial system. The authors estimate that about €1.8 trillion (or 17 percent) of all UK banking assets might be on the move as a direct consequence of Brexit. Market fragmentation—if the EU-27 receives the UK business as 27 separate jurisdictions as opposed to one single financial space—would increase borrowing costs for corporations and households, compared with an integrated market for the EU-27. Different countries and cities will naturally compete for business moving out of London. EU-27 leaders need to set clear objectives for reshaping the post-Brexit financial system. The authors recommend enhancing the role of the European Securities and Markets Authority, strengthening the banking union, and improving oversight of the EU-27’s financial system infrastructure.

Data Disclosure: 

The data underlying this analysis are available here.