EU banking authority decided by lot after voting tied

The European Banking Authority (EBA) will not relocate to Dublin after it leaves the UK, after the Irish capital was pipped at the post by Paris in dramatic fashion, writes Pádraig Hoare.

Following a vote among member states in Brussels, Paris triumphed over Dublin only through its name being pulled out of a bowl, after the two cities finished tied in the voting.

It means 160 jobs, potentially millions of euro and tens of thousands of business visitors to Dublin every year are now gone.

The EBA, which was set up in 2011, is the agency which coordinates banking rules across the EU.

It has approximately 160 employees but the Irish Government was keen to have the body relocate because of the global prestige, as well as an estimated extra 40,000 visitors to the city for business purposes every year.

It has to relocate from Canary Wharf in London because EU agencies are all based in member states.

The Irish bid to host the EBA as well as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) saw incentives offered worth tens of millions of euro, as well as providing €15m in the first year to help kit out EMA offices for the approximately 900 staff, and €7m in rent subsidies every year.

Although the EMA would have been seen as the bigger prize, Ireland earlier pulled out of the running for its relocation because it was always said to be an outside bet to win that vote.

Amsterdam will now host the EMA staff after beating Milan in a close contest, with a tie-break also being settled by picking a name from a bowl.

The EBA bid was said to be more likely to succeed and Dublin went up against seven other cities in a bid for its relocation.

Frankfurt was surprisingly beaten into third place by Dublin, which looked on course to pull off an upset until the last vote was counted.

There was some consolation as UK marine insurer North said it was setting up a subsidiary in Ireland because of the fallout from the Brexit vote.

The Newcastle-based firm said key reasons for choosing Dublin included a similar business environment to the UK, a strong talent pool in financial services, easy travel from Newcastle and conducting business in English.


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