Bank of America picks Dublin for EU hub

Bank of AmericaImage copyright Getty Images

Bank of America has chosen Dublin as its new base to service EU clients as part of its Brexit contingency plans.

It is the first US bank to confirm the Irish capital as its preferred site.

Citigroup has picked Frankfurt as the base for its EU trading operations, and reports say Morgan Stanley has also chosen the German financial centre.

Banks had been required to submit plans to the Bank of England earlier this month, detailing their preparations for when the UK exits the EU in March 2019.

Many banks intend to set up subsidiaries in Europe so they can continue to look after EU customers if their UK-based operations lose the ability to operate across the bloc following Brexit.

Bank of America currently has 700 staff in Dublin and 6,500 in the UK, of which 4,500 are based in London.

Brian Moynihan, chairman and chief executive of Bank of America, said: “Dublin is the home of more of our employees than any other European city outside of the UK.

“We already have a fully licensed and operational Irish-domiciled bank which, combined with Ireland’s strong commitment to business and economic growth, makes Dublin the natural location to consolidate our legal entities as we transition.”

Image copyright Jason Clarke Photography
Image caption Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) meets Bank of America boss Brian Moynihan

He added: “While we await further clarity around the Brexit negotiations, we are making all necessary preparations to serve our clients however those discussions conclude.”

Last week, Barclays said that it was in talks with Irish regulators about extending its operations in Dublin post-Brexit.

Barclays said Ireland provided a “natural base” for the bank as it has operated there for 40 years already.

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Taoiseach who met Mr Moynihan on Friday, said: “Bank of America has a long-standing commitment to Ireland and I look forward to this relationship growing and deepening in the years ahead.”

He said the announcement was “a strong endorsement of Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for investment”.

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