Saturday 17 March 2018

Frankfurt/Paris set for bigger roles after Brexit - Commissioner

Valdis Dombrovskis
Valdis Dombrovskis
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

A European Commissioner has said London will continue to be important in terms of financial services after Brexit, but that Frankfurt and Paris will also take on enhanced roles.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue, was reportedly asked which city would be Europe's financial capital in 2022.

"I can imagine that London will still play an important role," he said. But he added that Frankfurt and Paris would take on a greater role, according to news service Bloomberg, with no mention of Dublin.

Dublin has been tipped as a possible contender to attract financial services jobs displaced as a result of the Brexit vote, vying with other European capitals including Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and Luxembourg.

The Central Bank - which accepts licence applications from firms looking to establish here - said it was ready to engage with new business looking to shift operations to Ireland.

It comes as Morgan Stanley is said to be scouting for office space in Frankfurt and Dublin for an enlarged European Union hub following the UK's vote to leave.

The bank may initially move about 300 workers to one of the cities, Bloomberg reported.

"Our focus is on ensuring that we can continue to service our clients whatever the Brexit outcome," Hugh Fraser, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley, said by e-mail. "Our strong franchise and material presence in Europe gives us many options, and we will adapt as the details of Brexit become clear. Given all of this, no decisions have yet been made."

Global banks in London may have to shift €1.8 trillion of assets elsewhere after Brexit is completed, putting as many as 30,000 UK jobs at risk, according to Brussels-based research group Bruegel.

Competition has been growing among certain EU capitals looking to lure firms from London following the referendum result. The French government pledged within days of the Brexit result to make its tax regime for expatriates among the most favourable in Europe.

In November, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the process for banks to establish here and get a licence could take at least a year.

Irish Independent

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