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EU tax treats could mean windfall for relocating bankers, study finds

Lucy Burton
The skyline in Frankfurt - REUTERS

City bankers relocating to continental Europe post-Brexit could end up wealthier than those earning the same amount in Britain thanks to certain tax sweeteners, new analysis shows.

As many as 10,000 jobs in the UK's financial services industry are estimated to go once the country leaves the EU in March 2019 as banks relocate staff and open new EU hubs so they don't lose access to European clients post-Brexit, with more expected to leave the City in the longer term. 

But the number of people willing to relocate could rise even further after a KPMG report prepared for The Wall Street Journal found that expats moving to certain EU nations could take home far more than they would in the UK due to personal tax breaks. 

The data shows that expats earning €250,000 (£222,000) a year in France, Spain, Ireland, Germany or the Netherlands - five countries which have been fighting to win business from London since the Brexit vote - would end up paying less in income tax and social-security charges compared to the UK. 

The data found that a worker relocating to France, for example, could take home an extra €27,588 after tax and charges while a move to Spain could see that person's pay climb by as much as €42,545.

That increase drops to an extra €2,500 in Germany, which doesn't offer an expat regime but is still set to be the biggest winner from Brexit. Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs recently signed a new lease in Frankfurt that gives it the space to increase its staff numbers in the city from 200 to 1,000.   

Tax sweeteners are unlikely to be a big enough draw for workers to move overseas, however, with many countries hoping to entice business from London in other ways. France, for example, is looking to increase the number of bilingual schools or offer French lessons to London-based bankers and their families.