The Republic of Ireland has launched a Brexit charm offensive
Politicians hope the country’s soon-to-be status as the only English-speaking EU state will prove irresistible to bank chiefs.
While Theresa May is currently in Dublin to hold a day of Brexit talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, one of the Irish government’s top ministers has travelled in the opposite direction in an attempt to benefit from Britain’s EU exit.
Eoghan Murphy, the Minister of State for Financial Services, is currently in London where he is touting the Irish capital as the “location of choice” for financial services.
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The Fianna Gael TD [member of parliament] is scheduled to take part in an “intensive round of stakeholder engagements” in an attempt to reduce the economic knock-on effect Brexit will have on the Republic.
Mr Murphy said yesterday financial services companies should look to Dublin – for the good of the bloc as a whole.
International financial organisations may be tempted to leave the UK after Brexit
He said: “Given the European Banking Authority’s crucial role across Europe, we must ask ourselves what would be the least disruptive, and therefore safest place, to move the EBA to?
“We have to prioritise minimising disruption of the banking supervision regime in Europe. In my view that puts Dublin at the front of the queue. So we’re going to be very ambitious for this project.”
Experts have thrown doubt onto whether Ireland has the financial strength to survive as the continent’s economic hub.
Eoghan Murphy is attempting to woo international banks from London to Dublin
Ireland's painful legacy of the banking crash in 2008 and subsequent international bailout has made the country's central bank wary, meaning the capital is unlikely to become a major destination for what is regarded as some of the banks' riskiest business.
Senior figures in the central bank have indicated in private talks with big banks they would face major hurdles to win regulatory approval for such operations, which involve huge sums compared with the relatively small size of the country's economy.
International financial organisations may be tempted to leave London for Dublin after Brexit
A source at a large global investment bank said in November: "If you've come from all the troubles Ireland has, you want to be very careful about taking on risks."
Another source said: "Yes, Ireland want insurers, asset managers, back office functions but they don't want big balance sheet risk.
“They just don't want to take on that kind of risk and feel that they don't have the regulatory bandwidth to do that."
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