S&P may move more staff to Dublin base after Brexit

By Geoff Percival

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P Global) could move more staff to Dublin from London as a result of Britain leaving the UK, its chief executive has said.

Speaking in London, Douglas Peterson said S&P — ranked as the largest credit ratings agency in the world — expects to move around 30 to 40 of its analysts out of London as a result of Brexit.

He said the company, which employs around 1,500 analysts around the world, needs to meet demands from EU markets regulator ESMA that rating firms have sufficient numbers of senior staff in the bloc when Britain officially leaves next year.

S&P already has sizeable offices in Frankfurt, Paris, Madrid and Milan and plans to open an office in Dublin which staff could also move to, Mr Peterson said.

S&P has an EU market share of 46%, ESMA data shows, well ahead of nearest rival Moody’s on 31%.

The moves could include a small number of sovereign analysts though the larger share is likely to be in the firm’s structured finance division that made 10% of rating revenues last year.

The departures from London will barely put a dent in S&P’s overall presence in Europe’s main financial centre. However, Mr Peterson warned that Britain needed to provide clarity on key post-Brexit regulatory arrangements to ensure there is not more upheaval.

S&P Global announced last year that it planned to establish a Dublin office in order to further meet its post-Brexit EU requirements.

It said the Irish office — due to open by the end of this year — will act as the main base for its operations in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Additional reporting Reuters

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