Brexit-scarred London fintech startups enquire about moving to Berlin

Brexit-scarred London fintech startups enquire about moving to Berlin

Britain's recent vote to leave the European Union has prompted several London-based fintechs to enquire about moving to Berlin, claims a business development group in the German capital.

Since the Brexit vote, Berlin Partner has fielded interest from 10 London tech startups looking for information on issues such as commercial property prices, accommodation and the labour market situation.

"The most concrete enquiries are coming from London fintechs. They are considering a move to Berlin so as not to lose access to the European single market," claimed the group's Stefan Franzke at a press conference reported by Reuters.

Berlin Partner is eager to take advantage, setting up an English language site with useful information and prepping a pop-up lab that will arrive in London in October.

German centre-right political party Freie Demokraten has already made its way over, taking a cheekily direct approach to wooing earlier this month when it drove a giant billboard truck into the heart of London emblazoned with an invite for Brexit-scarred startups to move to Berlin.

Germany is not alone in looking to lure fintech businesses away from London. Taavet Hinrikus co-founder of London-based Unicorn TransferWise says he has been fielding calls from other nation states ever since the Referendum results came in.

Another money transfer business, Azimo, is pondering a move out of London, with chief executive Michael Kent naming Ireland, Luxembourg and Amsterdam followed by Berlin and Barcelona, as potential new homes.

Ireland is promoting its progressive tax regime, proximity to London, and shared language traits to potential movers. Martin Shanahan, the chief executive of IDA Ireland, says the state development agency is planning an advertising blitz over the coming months.

And in France, the head of the Paris regional government has written a letter to 4000 business executive extolling the virtues of a location in the heart of Europe.

Comments: (2)

Paul Lashmet
Paul Lashmet - North Castle Integration LLC - Armonk 18 July, 2016, 16:34Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If they just want to pick up and move because of Brexit, I think they are shooting from the hip.  Open a satellite office in Berlin, maybe but moving only because of Brexit?  Is it cheaper to operate out of Berlin, maybe.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 July, 2016, 18:20Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Move to Ireland - V handy if the the fintech ever gets to the stage where it has to pay tax.... of course not all do....   Alternative is to move to Luxembourg - the same reason but with less rain.  Alternatively why not wait a couple of years and see what happens.

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