US bank denies claim of planned move to Dublin
Morgan Stanley yesterday denied that it had begun moving 2,000 investment banking staff out of London just hours after the result of the Brexit referendum.
In a signal of the vulnerability of the City of London's vast financial sector following the vote, the BBC reported that the US investment bank had kicked off a process to move key investment banking jobs from Britain to either Dublin or Frankfurt.
However, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley quickly denied the story. But the prospect of a massive shake-up in Europe's financial capital is real.
Morgan Stanley's Irish company president, Colm Kelleher, had said so before the vote. London serves as a banking, insurance and professional services hub for the entire European Union - but when it is outside the bloc that may no longer be sustainable.
Policymakers here are keen to get a slice of any activity that does leave the UK. However, Dublin's relatively much smaller market will struggle to attract the highest-value banks and financial-services firms here, the head of a major cross-border body has warned.
Dublin may lack the capacity to capitalise on a City break-up, according to John McGrane, chief executive of the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce.
That is related to both physical assets, such as the lack of large-scale office space here, but also skills and the size of the workforce.
Dublin is "not really aligned" to providing the highest-value end of financial services but does well in midscale and middle-range areas, he said.