Jobs hope as several UK insurance firms keen to relocate here

The Central Bank, Dame Street, Dublin

Dearbhail McDonald

The Central Bank has received a number of inquiries from leading UK-based insurance companies following the Brexit vote, raising the prospect that more jobs could shift to Ireland.

Banks and tech companies are among those already being targeted by the IDA in the aftermath of the referendum.

If any major insurance operations were to move to Ireland from the UK, it would be a major coup for the jobs agency.

Its is believed that a number of Lloyds syndicates - units that price and write insurance - are among the heavyweights seeking details of the regulatory impact of Brexit on their current operations and requirements, which may need to be met in the event of any relocation here.

Days before the June 23 referendum, the Central Bank warned of reduced competition in the insurance market in the event of a British exit.

"Depending on the nature of the Brexit, if it were to occur, Irish insurers may face restrictions upon their ability to conduct cross-border business into the UK and, similarly, UK insurers operating in Ireland may face restrictions," said the Central Bank at that time.

The Central Bank has been holding a series of round-table discussions with leaders from a variety of sectors. Professor Patrick Honohan, former governor of the Central Bank, recently called for "cool heads".

Writing as a fellow of the Peterson Institute of International Economics, Prof Honohan said the Norway model could be an acceptable interim solution for British negotiators. The IDA is hoping to capitalise on Brexit by luring companies from the UK that need to be positioned in the EU to effectively carry out their business.

Banks and tech firms are among those being targeted. Within hours of the referendum result being known, the IDA contacted new and existing investors to pitch Ireland. It is hoped the fact Ireland is an English-speaking member of the EU, coupled with the critical mass of tech giants already here, will act as a magnet.