Dublin most popular destination for firms moving business out of London

Seen & Heard: Credit unions launch debit card, first-time buyers locked out

Dublin was the most popular destination for financial services companies moving businesses out of London ahead of Brexit in 2020, claims British Sunday newspaper, The Observer.

Quoting figures from accountants EY, the newspaper says a total of 34 companies, including asset managers, insurers and lenders, such as Barclay's and Bank of America, shifted jobs to the Republic's capital.

“Ever since the EU referendum vote in 2016, City firms have been quietly leasing space in Dublin, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, and Paris to make sure they can conduct business with their EU clients,” says The Observer.

In an assessment of the post-Brexit challenges to the City of London’s efforts to remain Europe’s leading banking centre, the paper highlights remarks by Irish politician, Mairead McGuinness, the EU’s financial services commissioner, that the British capital would lose more jobs and investment as a result of Brexit.


New debit card

Credit unions plan launching a new debit card next month, The Sunday Indpendent reports.

Irish League of Credit Unions-backed electronic payments specialist, Cusop, is testing the new card in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, and plans to launch the card with a further 14 credit unions across the Republic through the first half of this year.

Bróna Biddulph, Cusop’s project manager, tells the newspaper that it removes credit union members’ need for cash and gives them “a choice to do all of their banking services with their credit union”.

First-time buyer woes

High prices will lock first-time buyers out of thousands of new apartments planned for Dublin by builders, according to The Sunday Business Post.

Costs will rise well beyond the sums that first-time buyers can borrow, the newspaper says in an analysis of plans to build 26,000 apartments in the capital over the next seven years.

“The average new-build two-bed apartment in Dublin county is likey to cost more than €407,000. The average new-build three-bed apartment is likely to be priced at €430,000,” the Post says.

Bank branch downgrades

Bank of Ireland is considering closing or downgrading some of its 292 branches around the country, The Sunday Times says.

The lender may announce plans when it publishes financial results for 2020 in two weeks. According to the newspaper, the proposal to close or wind down braches reflects customers’ rapid shift to digital banking.

Counter services make up fewer than 10 per cent of transactions in its branches.

Bank of Ireland has 264 branches in the Republic and 28 in the north. The Sunday Times points out that regulators could derail any plans to close outlets in Northern Ireland as the UK asked banks to reconsider such proposals during the coronavirus lockdowns as they could hit vulnerable customers.