Barclays is in talks with Irish regulators about expanding its presence in Dublin in the run up to Brexit.It is the latest financial company to indicate how it is repositioning to cope with the UK’s exit from the EU. Barclays said Ireland provided a “natural base” for the bank as it has operated there for 40 years already.”In the absence of certainty around… an agreement, we intend to take necessary steps to preserve ongoing market access for our customers.”Financial firms have been drawing up contingency plans for how they will continue to access the European single market when the UK leaves the trading bloc.Companies in other sectors have also been making plans. Earlier on Friday, UK airline EasyJet said it was planning to set up a subsidiary in Austria.The airline must have an air operator certificate in an EU member country to allow it to continue flying between member states after Brexit.’Vote of confidence’Barclays currently employs about 100 staff in Dublin and the bank said it was talking to regulators over extending its licence there.Ireland’s Government Enterprise and Innovation Minister Frances Fitzgerald said Barclays’ decision to expand its presence in Dublin was “a strong vote of confidence in Ireland’s growing importance as a gateway into the single market”.Dublin appears to be well-placed in the race to pick up business from financial firms as they plan their post-Brexit strategies. If financial firms based in the UK lose access to the European single market, they will need a subsidiary in another country within the EU to continue offering services across Europe.
Insurer Legal & General said in May that it planned to relocate parts of its business to the Irish capital. Standard Life is also thought to be likely to choose Dublin.US bank JP Morgan is buying a Dublin office with space for 1,000 staff and its chief executive has also held a meeting with the Irish prime minister.Japan’s Daiwa Securities, Sumitomo Mitsui and Nomura Holdings will set up subsidiaries in Frankfurt. Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered are both also reported to be planning Frankfurt moves.Deutsche Bank has said it could move up to 4,000 jobs to Frankfurt and other EU locations.French banks such as Credit Agricole are more likely to move business to France, and HSBC has indicated it may also move staff to Paris.