Thursday 22 February 2018

Citigroup to reveal UK exit plans by summer

Citigroup denied as recently as November that it was planning to move as many as 900 jobs to Dublin as part of its Brexit battle plan. Photo: Getty Images
Citigroup denied as recently as November that it was planning to move as many as 900 jobs to Dublin as part of its Brexit battle plan. Photo: Getty Images
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Global banking giant Citigroup will expand its staff numbers in Dublin and announce by the summer where its London-based broker-dealer services are going post-Brexit, its European chief has said.

The US bank, which already employs 2,500 staff in Dublin, is talking with regulators in Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands, according to James Cowles, chief executive of Citigroup's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. He said employment in its Dublin operation would continue to grow, but other countries were being looked at.

"When we take a look at different aspects of our business that are currently in London, there will be some things that we move," Mr Cowles told the European Financial Forum in Dublin yesterday. "We will be making decisions in the first half of this year in terms of what jurisdictions."

Citigroup denied as recently as November that it was planning to move as many as 900 jobs to Dublin as part of its Brexit battle plan. A report at the time suggested the bank was scouting for office space in the capital.

But a spokeswoman for the bank denied the claim. However, Mr Cowles said no decision had been made yet.

"We've reached out and talked to regulators and people in governments across many countries in Europe including Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands," he said.

"We're in the process of evaluating each one of them."

It came after Taoiseach Enda Kenny upped the rhetoric in the Government's pitch for financial services firms displaced as a result of the UK referendum, declaring the IFSC in Dublin was "Brexit-ready". Mr Kenny also reiterated that Dublin would be an "ideal choice" for a relocated European Banking Authority (EBA) post-Brexit.

It is understood Financial Services Minister Eoghan Murphy will meet senior figures at the EBA in London next week.

But Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has already poured cold water on Government plans, reportedly stating the consensus among some of the larger member states is that the EBA should go to either Warsaw or Milan.

The failure to attract the EBA would be a blow to the Taoiseach's reputation. Government sources argue Ireland remains in the mix, with the relocation ultimately for the member states to discuss.

Irish Independent

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