Tuesday 22 August 2017

Finance firms 'keeping Irish Brexit moves under wraps'

IDA CEO Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren
IDA CEO Martin Shanahan. Photo: Mark Condren
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Financial services companies have chosen Ireland as their post-Brexit location of choice, but they have yet to make public announcements, IDA chief Martin Shanahan has insisted.

Dublin has long been tipped as a potential contender for Brexit spoils from the City of London, but has recently lost out to Luxembourg, Brussels and Frankfurt after big-name insurers AIG, Lloyds and Standard Chartered revealed their plans.

British insurer Hiscox yesterday announced it was establishing a new subsidiary in Luxembourg.

Ahead of an event in London promoting Ireland, Mr Shanahan said he remained "absolutely confident" that Ireland would secure significant Brexit-related investment.

"We can't give a running commentary, day by day, on what companies are coming or not," Mr Shanahan said. "Companies will make announcements in their own time. I am absolutely confident that Ireland will win investment on foot of Brexit.

"We have seen companies announce already - Almac, in the pharmaceutical space - we will win investment in the financial services space, undoubtedly.

"You can take it that companies are very advanced and there are companies who have decided on Ireland, and I think that they will make their decisions known."

Mr Shanahan said this was the case in financial services, but he declined to be more specific.

Reuters reported yesterday that the largest global banks in London plan to move about 9,000 jobs to the continent in the next two years, as the exodus of finance jobs starts to take shape. Thirteen major banks - including Goldman Sachs, UBS, and Citigroup - have given an indication of how they would bulk up their operations in Europe. Reuters said six banks favour opening a new office or moving the bulk of their operations to Frankfurt, while three will look to expand in Dublin.

The plans of large banks such as Credit Suisse and Bank of America and many smaller banks are still unknown.

"We are absolutely still in play for significant investment," said Mr Shanahan. The IDA chief will take part in an event tonight in London highlighting Ireland as a post-Brexit location. He will be joined by Ann Nolan, second secretary general at the Department of Finance, and Gerry Cross, director of policy and risk at the Central Bank.

"We've done a number of events where we've had the Central Bank and ourselves and the Department of Finance. We've done that on a number of occasions so far, but this is a bigger event," Mr Shanahan said. "We'll also have service providers from the HR side, property developers, some of the service providers in legal, accounting and so on, showing what Ireland has to offer. It will be a significant event."

Meanwhile, Mr Cross reiterated at an event in New York that the regulator expects to see a "material increase in applications for authorisation".

Irish Independent

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