Spot Recruitment

What The Financial Services Brexit “Exodus” Means For Job Seekers & Employers In Dublin

It’s understandable that people are a little sick of hearing about Brexit by now - after all, it’s been three years with no resolution. With a number of deadlines set and passed, we’re currently building up to another period of severe uncertainty.

Of course, Ireland has been at the forefront of Brexit negotiations since the ‘Yes’ vote won on 23rd June 2016. From the negotiating impasse on the Northern Ireland border to the ongoing dire warnings of the impact on the Irish economy from a no-deal Brexit, it’s fair to say that we’ve often felt like unwilling passengers on this Brexit journey.

But, one area where Ireland has seen a positive development from Brexit is in the foreign direct investment arena.

Since the result of the Brexit vote, financial services firms in London have been in contingency planning mode, in order to mitigate the risk of having the majority of their operations in the City of London post Brexit.

The answer for many firms has been to move some, or all, of their operations to a European base. In fact, according to EY’s Brexit Tracker, 7,000 financial services jobs and €1.1 trillion of assets have already been moved from the UK to Europe since the 2016 referendum result.

Data by the New Financial think tank released in March of this year identified that Dublin is the clear winner in this so-called Brexit “exodus”. They show that 100 firms across the financial services spectrum have chosen the Irish capital as a post-Brexit location for at least part of their operations – representing 30% of all the moves that they identified.


Data source: New Financial

The same report by New Financial deems it unlikely that any moves of assets or staff out of London would later be reversed. They point out that significant sums have been invested in the move, on the back of continued political uncertainty in the UK. This is backed by EY estimates that the direct financial impact of financial services firms contingency planning has reached nearly €4.5bn.

At Spot, we’re not surprised that Dublin is ‘winning’ the Brexit exodus. It makes perfect sense – Dublin is English speaking, has strong links to the financial sector in the UK and has a wide talent pool of well-qualified, highly educated staff. We have no doubt that Dublin is benefitting from the so-called financial services “Brexodus”, however, there are some implications for job seekers and employers alike.

So, what do job seekers and employers in Dublin have to consider?

Job seekers

While many firms are moving staff to Ireland in their current roles, the influx of financial services operations has resulted in more jobs in the Capital, which is, of course, welcome news.

However, the primary consideration for job seekers (both existing Dubliners and staff moving for Brexit) is housing. A report by the Irish Independent indicates that securing accommodation in Dublin has been challenging for staff planning to move to the city as a result of Brexit. There’s also the possibility that the influx of staff could add extra pressure to the ongoing rental supply/ demand imbalance in the Capital.


For employers in the financial services arena, the main implication is around recruitment and retention. With the Irish economy approaching full employment in 2019, this means more competition for staff and potential upward pressure on salaries. 

With a buoyant job market, many employers in the sector have looked at tempting Irish emigrants home. However, the issues around housing and the relatively expensive cost of living are considerations for job seekers considering moving to the Capital. So, employers do have to put their best foot forward to attract talent in the current environment.

At Spot Recruitment, we’re as stumped as everyone else on how Brexit will eventually pan out. What we do know, however, is that the Dublin financial services sector has benefitted from the Brexit contingency planning of global firms. Whether you’re a job seeker looking for your next financial services role, or an employer searching for the perfect candidate, we’d love to discuss how we can help you succeed.