Ireland is among the best-placed locations to benefit from banks leaving London following the UK’s decision to leave the UK, according to senior professionals who work in the banks.
A debate has raged whether London will hold onto all of the hundreds of thousands of people who work in financial services following the shakeup in the industry in the wake of the June 23 vote.
Policymakers here have also debated whether Irish cities such as Dublin and Cork have the office space and infrastructure to accommodate any potential flight of banks from the City of London.
Financial institutions there must make contingency plans to locate their European head offices in an EU jurisdiction when the complicated divorce negotiations between the UK and Brussels finally get started.
However, a survey of 2,000 financial services executives across the world who hold the prestigious CFA qualifications believe that Dublin could rival Frankfurt as one of the biggest winners of Brexit shake-out to attract a substantial number of jobs.
Of the CFA survey, 69% believe that Frankfurt and 62% believe that Dublin will be the biggest winners from the disruption caused by the vote and the long years of negotiations that lie ahead.
The CFA executives tend to be senior in their organisations and may wield considerable influence over future relocation plans.
CFA members believe Ireland’s similar legal and regulatory system, as well as the common language with the UK would help boost its appeal.
Fran Carter, president at CFA Society Ireland, said that undoubtedly Brexit had raised uncertainty about the outlook for the Irish economy “but one positive from the survey by our parent institute is that Dublin’s attractiveness as an international financial centre will be significantly boosted by Brexit”.
With 60% of the EU respondents saying their UK-based financial units would now likely cut back, the results “make challenging reading for the financial services sector in the UK and for the policymakers that will work on the Brexit negotiations,” said CFA UK chief executive Will Goodhart.
Meanwhile, head of the Canary Wharf Group, which is the landlord of a clutch of international banks in the east London district, said the arrival of the city’s Crossrail network will help keep jobs. George Iacobescu said the opening of Crossrail is due in 2018. n Additional reporting Bloomberg
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