Brexit: A dozen London firms, banks moving to Dublin, IDA says

Development agency says institutions including ‘an American bank’ agreed to move

US bank JP Morgan is buying a landmark office building in Dublin to expand its Irish workforce. Photograph: Getty

US bank JP Morgan is buying a landmark office building in Dublin to expand its Irish workforce. Photograph: Getty

 

Irish authorities say they have clinched deals with more than a dozen London-based banks and finance houses to move some of their operations to Dublin in preparation for Brexit.

As Dublin continues to battle with Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Paris for the Brexit spoils, the head of international financial services at Ireland’s Industrial Development Authority said definitive decisions had now been taken on an Irish location by these firms.

Kieran Donoghue said these included “one American bank” with each firm looking at offices ranging in size from 10 to 500 staff.

All banks and financial services operations are obliged by regulators to be “day one ready” for Brexit at the end of March 2019. But with the time needed for banking licence applications, securing real estate, trading floors and having credit ratings in place by then, contingency plans need to be complete in the next few weeks.

The Bank of England has told financial firms to provide it with details of their Brexit plans by July 14th and to be ready for all possible outcomes, including a hard Brexit.

Mr Donoghue said the IDA had fielded more than 80 inquiries since the referendum last June.

“More than a dozen across the spectrum including more than one American bank have decided on Dublin,” Mr Donoghue said.

“A number of these groups have privately decided they have selected Dublin but won’t announce until they conclude discussions with the regulatory regimes in Britain, Ireland, the European Central Bank and regulatory authorities in the US. Given the scale of these groups, this is very sensitive.”

He said one of the firms was potentially moving 1,000 staff to Dublin.

US bank JP Morgan is buying a landmark office building in Dublin in a significant boost for the city.

It already has 500 staff in Dublin but will double that in a 22-storey yet-to-be-built tower block on the south of the River Liffey.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which already has a presence in Dublin, has also spoken of expanding in the city, while Goldman Sachs is to start moving hundreds of staff out of London before a Brexit deal is struck, the bank’s European boss has confirmed.

One year on from the seismic result of the referendum, Mr Donoghue said the mass exodus from London that was once feared is unlikely to materialise.

“This is a sensitive event for the financial services, they don’t really want to leave decades of infrastructure in London, for them to leave is a disruption to business and a cost,” he said.

“We do not think that London is going to disappear, but the industry will move to a more decentralised model,” said Mr Donoghue.

“Essentially there are going to be three of four centres in Europe that are going to grow in size, but not to the point that London becomes irrelevant.”

Thinktank Bruegel recently said London could lose upwards of 10,000 banking jobs as a result of Brexit, a far cry from early predictions of 100,000 jobs departing.

The Guardian