London's Businesses Look to Move after Brexit
Ten London start-up businesses have made inquiries about moving to Berlin since Britain voted to leave the European Union.
The business development group Berlin Partner made the announcement Monday.
Each of the new businesses have between 10 and 18 employees.
Berlin Partner Director Stefan Franzke spoke at a news conference. He said that financial technology companies, known as fintechs, have shown the most interest in moving to Berlin from London.These small businesses are concerned about issues such as the cost of commercial property, the labor market, and the availability ofaccommodations.
Along with other European cities, Berlin wants to attract companies in London's fintech industry. The German capital says it is anaffordable and resourceful substitute to other cities.
Berlin's Senator for Economics, Technology and Research, Cornelia Yzer, has sent hundreds of letters to British firms. She also has travelled to a conference called London Fintech Week. Yzer wanted to encourage start-up leaders to move their businesses to Berlin.
Other companies, such as Berlin Partner, are also attempting to get start-ups to move to Germany from London. Berlin Partner has launched a website in English that has information about how to set up a business. The company is also going to open an office in London in October to try to woo more companies.
A report by the accounting company Ernst and Young said Berlin attracted more than $2 billion in investment capital for start-up businesses in 2014. That is more than London in the same year.
Franzke said that the cost of living, skilled workers and the widespread use of English give start-up businesses a reason to come to Berlin.
The German capital has about 100 fintech start-ups. These include German mobile financial services firm Number26.
Franzke said he expected Berlin also to get inquiries from foreign start-ups that were interested in London, but are now considering other countries.
The competition among cities that want fintech companies will be tough. Franzke says he considers Amsterdam to be Berlin's biggest competitor. The Dutch city used to be home to a number of global banks and has fast data connections.
I'm Mehrnoush Karimian-Ainsworth.