Friday 21 July 2017

Brexit job boost for Dublin but Frankfurt leads way

The increasingly bitter tone of Brexit negotiations may be forcing London-based banks to speed up decision-making about relocations. Photo: Bloomberg
The increasingly bitter tone of Brexit negotiations may be forcing London-based banks to speed up decision-making about relocations. Photo: Bloomberg
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Dublin is ahead of Paris but losing out to Frankfurt in the bid to attract financial services firms looking to relocate from London in the wake of Brexit, according to one of Europe's top property experts.

Intelligence gathered by Colliers International's director of client services for Europe the Middle East and Africa, Peter Leyburn, shows that, to date, property deals for the movement of less than 6,000 'desks' [roles] to Frankfurt, Dublin and Paris have been signed.

"I've got people on the ground particularly in Frankfurt, Paris and here in Dublin, who are feeding information back to me and telling me who's in the market, who's taking space and what's happening," he said.

"I've counted less than 6,000 desks between those three markets. At the moment, Frankfurt is about 3,700 desks, Dublin is about 1,150 and Paris is about 1,000 desks. That adds up to about 5,850 desks. Those are things that are signed."

The news came as a top executive at US banking giant JPMorgan confirmed that it will move hundreds of staff from London to Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg as a result of Brexit.

"We are going to use the three banks we already have in Europe as the anchors for our operations," Daniel Pinto, CEO of the bank's corporate and investment banking arm, said in an interview in Saudi Arabia.

"We will have to move hundreds of people in the short term to be ready for day one, when negotiations finish, and then we will look at the longer-term numbers," Pinto said.

In March the Irish Independent reported that JPMorgan was looking at office space for as many as 500 in Dublin, including at Kennedy Wilson's Capital Dock.

News that JPMorgan is sending staff here comes after two major insurance companies - Lloyd's of London and AIG - chose Brussels and Luxembourg over Dublin for their respective European Union bases.

British lender Standard Chartered has also said it has chosen Frankfurt for its main EU base.

Asia-focused Standard Chartered is already in discussion with the German regulator BaFin about setting up a subsidiary in the city and getting a licence to operate across the EU, bank chairman Jose Vinals said at the bank's annual general meeting in London yesterday.

Only a small number of London-based staff will be affected by the move, Vinals added.

The increasingly bitter tone of Brexit negotiations may be forcing London-based banks to speed up decision-making about relocations.

The intense scramble among the remaining EU members to win the jobs is setting off alarm bells at the European Central Bank. A top ECB official this week echoed Irish fears of a "race to the bottom" as some European Union countries ease supervisory standards in order to attract UK banks seeking access to the market after Britain leaves the EU.

"Incoming banks might exploit these differences and trigger a race to the bottom in terms of supervision," said Daniele Nouy, the head of the ECB's supervisory arm.

"We are worried about such a scenario - particularly in respect of large third-country branches."

That view concurs with concerns raised by Financial Services Minister Eoghan Murphy with the European Commission in March.

Read more: Dublin beats Paris but losing to Frankfurt in Brexit bid

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