Thursday 23 November 2017

Now RBS set to pick Dublin as its HQ in Europe

Financial Services Minister Eoghan Murphy Photo: Tom Burke
Financial Services Minister Eoghan Murphy Photo: Tom Burke

Stephen Morris and Richard Partington

Royal Bank of Scotland has indicated it would probably pick Dublin as its European Union base following Brexit.

The revelation came as Financial Services Minister Eoghan Murphy said positivity toward Dublin was increasing among banks considering Brexit-related moves.

Ireland has received more than 100 inquiries from companies, Mr Murphy said.

However, RBS, which is a UK taxpayer-owned bank, may ultimately only have to move "tens" of employees from Britain to other offices, RBS Group chairman Howard Davies told reporters.

Mr Davies said: "In our case, we don't have a problem, because we do own a eurozone bank in the form of Ulster Bank.

"Probably we would have to move some people, but we are talking tens of people, not the numbers other banks are talking about."

Global banks have started to reveal more about their plans to shift jobs and set up offices within the EU after UK Prime Minister Theresa May indicated she would pull Britain out of the single market.

They include Barclays Plc, which may move about 150 employees to Dublin, and Lloyds Banking Group Plc, which will shift a handful of people to Frankfurt.

Mr Davies said any disruption from Brexit would be minimised for RBS because Ulster Bank was already regulated by the European Central Bank, while the Edinburgh-based lender also has smaller operations in the Netherlands and Germany.

The Irish unit is "quite a sizable bank, so we have a eurozone base", he added.

Mr Davies said he was concerned about a "cliff edge" Brexit, whereby access to the EU is cut off after two years of negotiations.

But, he said he was encouraged that Mrs May mentioned the importance of temporary arrangements in a speech last month.

Irish Independent

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