IFS jobs ‘already earmarked for Dublin’ as result of Brexit

French financial institution BNP Paribas reported to be seeking more Dublin office space

The BNP Paribas building in Dublin’s docklands: the French financial institution is reportedly seeking more office space in the capital. Photograph: Alan Betson

The BNP Paribas building in Dublin’s docklands: the French financial institution is reportedly seeking more office space in the capital. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Some international financial services (IFS) companies have already decided to create more jobs in Dublin as a result of Brexit, although they are unlikely to communicate it in this way for political reasons, Minister of State for Financial Services Eoghan Murphy has told the Oireachtas finance committee.

Mr Murphy, who has responsibility for IFS strategy, said some other companies have made contingency plans to move certain activities here as they await the outcome of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union on its withdrawal from the trade bloc.

Mr Murphy declined to put a figure on the number of jobs that Ireland might win from Brexit but predicted that the State would now exceed its target of creating 10,000 new IFS jobs by 2020. This target was set before the Brexit vote.

“Because they [the IFS firms] don’t yet know what this means for them they can’t put a number on it. And if they can’t we can’t,” he said.

In terms of the quality of jobs that might transfer here, Mr Murphy said: “We are going to see high-end jobs coming into this country. And it won’t just be in Dublin.”

Supervision

In response to a question from Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath, Mr Murphy voiced concerns that some other EU countries might be using unfair offerings to attract IFS jobs in the wake of Brexit, particularly around regulation and supervision.

“I would describe it as dangerous competition,” he said. “It bothers me when I hear that other jurisdictions are potentially making commitments in terms of what regulation or supervision they might put in place. What we have heard from some companies would make me question whether or not they [other countries] are being prudent.”

Mr Murphy said these concerns have been communicated by the Government in Brussels and that the issue has been raised with the Central Bank of Ireland.

Separately, French financial institution BNP Paribas is seeking about 50,000sq ft (4,600sq m) of office space in Dublin, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Consolidating

BNP’s representatives have toured available office blocks in the city, a source said. BNP employs 500 people across four locations in the city, the French lender said in an email response to questions.

“We constantly look at ways of optimising our operational set-up and are in the very early stages of exploring the possibility of consolidating these four offices into a single one,” BNP said. “We are not looking for additional space in Dublin and have no plans to move offices at this stage.”

BNP’s decision is unrelated to Brexit, one of the sources said. Still, it may add to a squeeze on office space as a host of UK-based companies plan to move staff to EU locations to retain market access.

Barclays may move about 150 staff to Dublin, while Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Group have considered moving some operations to Dublin. HWBC forecasts prime office rents in the city will rise 8 per cent this year after 9 per cent in 2016.

– (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)