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Bank of Ireland's risk gurus prepare contingency plan for possible 'Brexit'


Richie Boucher

Richie Boucher

Richie Boucher

Richie Boucher's Bank of Ireland has conducted extensive risk assessments and contingency planning exercises to prepare the bank for the impact of Brexit - Britain leaving the EU.

The bank has hired Capital Economics and its advisors Bell Pottinger to examine the economic and political scenarios of a potential exit.

Bank of Ireland has a major UK presence though its involvement with the British Post Office. It is the 9th biggest financial institution in the UK, larger than the Clydesdale Bank where former AIB boss David Duffy is to become CEO.

It is a stand-alone consumer banking entity and would be less affected by any Brexit and subsequent regulatory upheaval than other major banks and financial institutions based in the UK.

Last month it emerged that Deutsche Bank was considering moving some operations from the UK back to Germany in the event of a Brexit. Other banks are also conducting similar contingency planning exercises.

The BoI risk management team believes that even if Britain exits the EU that it would aim to seal a free-trade agreement with the rest of Europe and a free-travel accord as part of its disentangling from the bloc. This would be particularly important given the Northern Ireland border.

The BoI risk team has also made detailed assessments of the economic, political and regulatory risks that could occur as a result of the Greek crisis and a potential 'Grexit'.

The key immediate risk centres around the bank's bond holdings.

Sunday Indo Business