Europe must prepare for financial firm influx post-Brexit, says head of IMF

Europe must prepare for an influx of financial firms after Brexit, the head of the International Monetary Fund has said.

Predicting a mass relocation to the continent and Ireland when the UK leaves the European Union, Christine Lagarde stressed the need to enhance the EU's regulatory and supervisory capacity in preparation.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund and Philip Lane, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland at Central Bank of Ireland. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography.

Ms Lagarde was in Dublin to open an event to mark 20 years since the adoption of the Euro single currency.

"We meet at a moment when the EU and euro area are in the midst of difficult decisions about their future," the IMF managing director said.

"Populist movements - from Brexit to the recent Italian elections - have called into question the value of European integration."

Recommending steps to make the eurozone more resilient to future financial turbulence, she said: "The euro area needs truly integrated financial and capital markets that allow companies to raise financing across borders more easily and support investment.

"In the near-term, it is critical to ensure that regulatory and supervisory capacities are prepared for the influx of financial firms that will move to continental Europe - and Ireland - as a result of Brexit."

The Euro at 20 conference was jointly hosted by the IMF and the Central Bank of Ireland.

Ms Lagarde's visit to Dublin also includes a scheduled meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings.


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