Bank of Ireland to continue UK operations despite Brexit

Separately, AIB chief said Brexit would have little direct impact on the bank

Richie Boucher, who will retire as Bank of Ireland chief executive later this year.

Richie Boucher, who will retire as Bank of Ireland chief executive later this year.

 

Bank of Ireland will continue to operate in the UK into the long term in spite of the UK’s decision to quit the EU, its chief executive Richie Boucher said Friday.

Speaking at the ACI Financial Markets Association World Congress in Dublin, Mr Boucher said: “We have to think about the long-term structure of the business [post Brexit].

“Britain is a very big market, it’s a very important market for us and it is a market that we will be in for the longer term.”

About 40 per cent of Bank of Ireland’s balance sheet is based in the UK and it employs 2,200 staff there.

Its business in Britain is largely built around retail partnerships with the Post Office and the AA while it also operates a branch network in Northern Ireland.

Mr Boucher, who will retire as Bank of Ireland CEO later this year, noted that its UK business is also separately capitalised and regulated locally.

AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne said Brexit would have little direct impact on the bank given its limited exposure to the UK.

However, he said it was a major issue for many of the bank’s customers.

“The short term effect has been currency related and around uncertainty…it’s actually been okay and probably not as bad as people feared. But the warm up is over and we’re now into the engagement around the real meat of it.

“What we’re trying to do is to get closer to the customers…to understand how they are positioning themselves and to help them understand that…fundamentally it is going to be more difficult to trade into the UK however it plays out. Right now, you need to be more efficient…or you need to identify other markets. Don’t wait for the rules to change.”