As Brexit Nears, Credit Suisse Reportedly Considering Dublin Expansion

As the U.K. moves closer to exiting the European Union, Credit Suisse Group AG is exploring options for expanding in Dublin, says the media quoting two people familiar with the matter.

The media quoted one of the people, who asked not to be identified because a final decision hasn’t been made, as saying that the Irish capital is emerging as a favored location for the bank’s so-called back-office jobs. One of the sources told the media that as the Zurich-based bank develops plans for moving jobs to adapt to Brexit, it also is considering cities including Frankfurt.

As it plans for Brexit’s implications, the bank is in the “early stages” of examining alternatives to the U.K., said Credit Suisse board member Noreen Doyle in Dublin on Tuesday. As it made the city its primary hub for servicing hedge funds in Europe, the lender is “very pleased” with its existing Dublin operation, Doyle said. The trading floor of the firm in the city was opened last year by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

A Credit Suisse spokeswoman said in an e-mailed response to questions from the media that the company’s executives are “exploring solutions to various outcomes including a hard Brexit and are refining our in-depth analysis.”  “We are exploring all options and do not have a preferred location at this point in time.”

For financial firms based in Britain that want to retain “passporting” rights, Ireland is seeking to present itself as a favored destination for such firms. “Passporting” rights is the provision that would allow the financial institutions to do business freely within the EU.

Sources were also quoted in the media as saying in December that Standard Chartered Plc has approached Irish officials about making Dublin its legal base inside the EU. European regional chief Jim Cowles said in Jan. 24 that Citigroup Inc is evaluating the Irish capital along with other cities.

In addition to having its branches in Lisbon, Paris and Dublin, Credit Suisse has banking operations in Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Milan.

Credit Suisse could need additional regulatory clearance to become a base for passporting into the rest of the EU as its Dublin operation is classified as a third-country branch rather than a full subsidiary. Still, because of the cost of living and the difficulty of luring employees to the city, Credit Suisse is leaning away from Frankfurt, the company source said.

“We already provide a comprehensive range of services to our clients through both our London operations and a number of different subsidiaries and branches across the Continent,” the bank spokeswoman said. “This provides us with the flexibility to respond to potential changes in the U.K. and EU financial services industry in the future.

(Adapted from CNBC)

 

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