UBS: 12% of European businesses plan on 'pulling all of their capacity' out of the UK

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  • The number of foreign businesses looking to leave Britain as a result of Brexit is falling.
  • Twelve per cent of Eurozone businesses with operations in the UK plan on “pulling all of their capacity out of the UK as a result of Brexit,” according to a survey from Swiss bank UBS
  • That’s down from 15% at the time of a previous survey by the bank.

LONDON – The proportion of foreign businesses looking to leave Britain as a result of Brexit is falling, according to a survey from Swiss bank UBS.

The survey, conducted by the UBS Evidence Lab found that 12% of Eurozone businesses with operations in the UK plan on “pulling all of their capacity out of the UK as a result of Brexit.” That is substantially from the 15% share with the same plan at the time of UBS’ previous survey.

The share of businesses planning on moving any of their operation out of the UK also fell from the previous survey, UBS said, with 36% of firms planning some form of relocation, compared to 43%.

Around a quarter of businesses said they would move a “large” amount of work out of the UK, compared to 28% previously.

Here’s UBS’ chart:

Screen Shot 2018 03 27 at 12.19.58UBS Evidence Lab

While businesses are now less likely to move operations out of the UK after Brexit, they are planning on reducing the amount of investment they make in the UK instead.

“The share of companies that anticipate reducing their investment went up to 39% in Q1 2018 from 35% in Q3 2017,” UBS said. “28% of firms expect to cut back investment “somewhat” (up from 21%) and 11% “significantly” (down from 14%).”

German businesses were the most likely to be more negative on their UK investment prospects, the bank said.

“As regards country-specific responses, the attitude of German companies turned more negative: In our last survey from Q3 2017, 30% of German corporates said they would react negatively to Brexit – less than in France, Spain or Italy. But in our latest survey, the share of negative responses from Germany rose to 45%, more than in the other three countries,” the report noted.

Here’s the chart:

Screen Shot 2018 03 27 at 12.09.32UBS Evidence Lab

Companies from overseas have been looking for clarity over Brexit ever since the referendum almost two years ago. Earlier in March, EU leaders agreed to move Brexit talks into the final phase after agreeing their negotiating guidelines for the next round of talks.

This provides businesses with greater clarity, although it should be noted that the agreement occurred after UBS’ survey was completed.

UBS surveyed 600 Eurozone corporates between mid-January and early March.

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