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Ireland confident it can attract more broker-dealers to Dublin

Ireland is confident that other foreign lenders will follow Bank of America and relocate their broker-dealer services to Dublin after Brexit, the head of the agency competing to win foreign business said.

Bank of America last week became the first Wall Street lender to pick Dublin as the new base for its European Union operations as banks start to lay out plans for how they intend to continue to serve clients after Britain leaves the bloc.

Securing a broker-dealer – the division where most market trading is conducted – was a major boost for Dublin which is seeking to add more front office activity to a financial centre more associated with back office functions such as settling transactions.


“There are definitely more to be decided still,” IDA Ireland’s Chief Executive Martin Shanahan told Reuters in a telephone interview on Thursday, adding that he was optimistic that one or more broker-dealers would end up in Ireland.

International banks are planning to set up subsidiaries in the EU to ensure they can trade unimpeded if their London operations lose the ability to operate across all member states once Britain leaves in March 2019.

Frankfurt and Dublin are emerging as early winners for banks’ post-Brexit operations.

U.S. banks Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley have both picked Frankfurt as bases for their broker-dealers, although Citi said it would also increase its already sizable footprint in Dublin as part of its expansion in other EU cities.

JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to hire a significant number of people in Dublin in its expanding custody and funds service, while Barclays is talking with regulators about extending its activities in the city.

Shanahan said he was confident that there was more to come across the sector for Ireland, particularly as banks seek to operate with a “more distributed model” rather than favouring one jurisdiction for all activities moving out of London.

“All three of the announcements were extremely positive from a signalling perspective. They are big brands who have chosen Ireland, that can only be positive,” Shanahan said.


“There is a lot still to play out in this, we are still at the early stages. I think we can expect to see more announcements right through Q3.”