Wednesday 13 December 2017

Kenny and Lane lead bid to lure banks after Brexit

Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The Government will roll out its biggest guns at an event at Dublin Castle today to drive home the message that Ireland is open for banks and insurers exiting the UK as a result of Brexit. Figures released yesterday show pessimism among Britain's financial services firms has increased for a fourth consecutive quarter, the longest spell of unbroken gloom since the financial crisis.

The latest quarterly survey of 103 financial services firms by business lobby CBI and consultancy PwC found sentiment about Britain's overall business climate fell the most since December 2008, with banks especially pessimistic.

The figures show 90pc of banks surveyed said preparing for the impact of Britain's exit from the European Union was their top challenge.

At Dublin Castle today Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Central Bank Governor Philip Lane, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor, junior minister Eoghan Murphy and IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan, will all address the European Financial Forum. It is a timely opportunity to lobby industry leaders to shift jobs here at a time when decisions are being made about where to locate future investment.

The Forum, organised by the IDA and the 'Financial Times', will focus on issues including the impact of Brexit and the emerging role of China in European finance.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Brexit gloom among finance houses appears to be deepening. "Uncertainty has contributed to the low levels of optimism reported by many financial services companies, particularly by the banks," Andrew Kail, head of financial services at PwC, said in its UK report.

Banks have begun signalling how they will put plans into action to cope with a "hard" exit by Britain from the EU, after UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain would leave the single market.

Kail also said that greater clarity on the UK position on Brexit from the Prime Minister's speech this week was welcome, not least a commitment to a period of phased implementation.

However, the survey revealed a more optimistic outlook for hiring, with 18pc of financial firms saying they had increased employment in the period compared with 10pc showing a decrease. IT was the biggest area for new jobs.

The survey also said firms considered increasing their dialogue with regulators as the biggest priority as Britain negotiates its EU exit. (Additional reporting Reuters)

Irish Independent

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