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Where should London bankers relocate post-Brexit?

, March 23, 2017, 0 Comments


To many it’s increasingly clear that Brexit is a case of economic self-harm. Movinga, a European relocations brokerage firm, has published a study on which EU cities London bankers and startups should move to.

Movinga, a Berlin-based relocation brokerage company active in several European countries, has released a report which rates European Union cities according to their desirability as a relocation destination for two distinct categories of Londoners.

Movinga focuses on bankers and startup entrepreneurs who are considering ‘Brexodus’ in the aftermath of “hard Brexit” – a version of Britain’s exit from the European Union in which the United Kingdom will have no special trade privileges vis-a-vis the world’s biggest market and restricted freedom of movement to and from the Continent.

Movinga ranked 10 European cities in order of their desirability for brexodusing bankers, and fifteen European cities in order of their attractiveness for brexodusing startup entrepreneurs and their employees.

“In view of the apparently inevitable exit of the UK from the EU, hundreds of thousands of British workers are facing a possible relocation,” the Movinga report said.


Movinga used twelve distinct criteria to rank the attractiveness of cities to London bankers, among them maximum income tax rate, English-language-friendliness, monthly rent for upscale flats through price of a house-cleaning, number of restaurants with Michelin stars, price of an evening cocktail, ‘monthly price for luxury fitness studio access, price of a flex-ticket flight to London and flight-minutes from London.

The results, from top to bottom: Dublin, Amsterdam, Valletta (Malta), Luxemburg, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Madrid, Paris, and Milan.

“It’s often said that Paris and  Frankfurt will have to get ready for an incoming flood of British bankers,” said Finn Hänsel, CEO of Movinga. “But actually, some other cities, like Dublin, Valletta, Luxembourg and Amsterdam, may have more to offer for bankers’ quality of life. Companies as well as individual employees should take a close look at the individual factors that are important for them in considering a relocation.”

What Movinga appear to have missed in their list of twelve criteria, however, is the importance of networking effects. Bankers, like many other mammalian species, are herd animals. They thrive in the proximity of other bankers – even those from rival firms – in part because concentrated hordes of banks and bankers attract members of other species with whom bankers have a symbiotic relationship, such as wealthy Russian white-collar criminals looking to launder embezzled money, or representatives of major institutional investors looking to invest mind-boggling pools of other people’s money.


For startup entrepreneurs, some of Movinga’s city-evaluation criteria were different and the results were also different. Criteria included mid-range income tax rate, English-friendliness, availability of venture capital and of co-working spaces, monthly rental cost of rooms in shared apartments, monthly price of public transit passes, beer and lunch prices, as well as length (in hours) and prices of discount-airline flights to London, among others.

The ranking from best to least-desirable of 15 startup destinations for brexodusing startups, according to Movinga, was as follows:

Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest, Brno (Czech Republic), Barcelona, Bratislava, Lisbon, Dublin, Amsterdam, Munich, Paris, Nantes, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen.

Berlin’s top ranking was influenced in particular by its high scores on three key factors: Affordability, English-friendliness and venture-capital accessibility.

Whose views?

The ratings should be understood as a structured opinion by informed observers, not as the gospel truth.

Movinga is itself a startup – it launched in early 2015, and hit a wall in June 2016, nearly closing down after excessively rapid growth and poor management decisions. The founders left the company, and a third of the staff were laid off. Now led by a trio of professional managers, the company was able to acquire a new round of financing and relaunch its effort to set itself up as the leading European broker of relocation services.