Panasonic to Move European Headquarters Out of UK as Brexit Concerns Grow
Several multi-national corporations have moved their European headquarters outside of the UK ahead of Brexit, and many others are expected to follow suit, especially as the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit rises further.
Japanese tech giant Panasonic will be transferring its European HQ away from London to Amsterdam in October over concerns that Brexit could complicate its corporation tax arrangement.
Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review on Wednesday, Panasonic Europe CEO Laurent Abadie outlined their decision, explaining that Panasonic fears that Japan might designate Britain as a tax haven if it goes ahead with plans to further cut corporation tax to attract foreign businesses post-Brexit.
This would result in a substantially higher domestic tax bill payable to Japan’s National Tax Agency (NTA).
Other Japanese companies, including Nomura Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui, have already voiced similar concerns and have explicitly said they will move their European HQs away from Britain ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc next March.
Moreover, Mr. Abadie said the firm’s senior management had been considering the move for some 15 months, not only because of the potential tax complication, but other Brexit-related concerns.
Earlier this year, Unilever announced its decision to move shutter its UK HQ, though it insisted this decision was not taken in response to Brexit.
Numerous financial services firms, including J.P. Morgan and Barclays’ investment banking division, have also scaled back their UK operations, transferring staff and key functions to mainland Europe.