The number of bankers from the UK and EU looking at job positions in Ireland surged dramatically in the eight weeks following the Brexit referendum, according to a new study.
International jobs site Indeed recently released data on searches conducted on their database last year, showing a massive spike in job searches in Ireland’s financial sector following the June referendum which decided the UK was to leave the European Union. For the eight weeks immediately after the vote, in particular, searches from the UK and other parts of the EU more than doubled for certain financial sector roles while some searches increased by almost 200 percent.
According to a new report from Brussel-based economic think tank Bruegel, the City of London can expect to lose 10,000 banking jobs and 20,000 accountancy, consultancy and law workers to EU countries once Brexit is formalized. The loss is expected to amount to $2 trillion (£1.6tn) or 17 percent of the UK's banking assets.
Ireland is believed to be one of the main countries to benefit from this transition, with Bruegel projecting that almost a fifth of wholesale finance activity within the European Union could shift to Ireland.
“The surge in job search into Ireland is a testament to Ireland’s attractiveness as a place to live and work, but also a stark illustration of how Brexit uncertainty is undermining Britain’s appeal,” Mariano Mamertino, an economist at Indeed told Independent.co.uk.
“Ireland is seen as a natural alternative to the UK by EU jobseekers. It’s an English-speaking country, with a flexible labor market and one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe.”
With the uncertainty over the role the UK is to play in European and world economics, following their EU departure, searches for Ireland-based auditor roles from the UK increased by 55 percent, while searches for financial analyst and accountant roles in Ireland increased by 50 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.
According to the data, the uncertainty appears to have had an even larger effect on searches from other Europeans, however, perhaps because it is unsure whether EU citizens working in the UK currently will be eligible for a visa that will allow them to continue working there once the UK make their exit.
Searches by Europeans for the role of financial director based in Ireland rose by 196 percent in the eight weeks after the referendum, while searches for auditor and trader jobs also surged by 89 per cent and 62 per cent.
The total impact of Brexit on the UK financial sector can not accurately be known until negotiations about their EU exit begin. While British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she was set to trigger the clause that would begin these two-year negotiations at some point in March 2017, this may now be set back, as the UK Supreme Court ruled that approval must be sought from the British Parliament before May can begin formal Brexit proceedings.
Mamertino suggests, however, that job searches indicate those working in the financial sector are already "voting with their feet - or at least considering it - in response to the political uncertainty".
“The much-feared financial sector flight could be beginning - but from the ground up, rather than the top down,” he added.
According to the Bruegel report, Dublin could find itself playing a larger role on the European financial scene. While London currently dominates the sector with 90 percent of the EU's wholesale activity, Ireland accounts for just 2 percent. The think-tank project this to climb to between 15 and 18 percent in Ireland following Brexit.