Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered weighing Dublin as EU base after Brexit

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 December, 2016, 5:16am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 December, 2016, 5:21am

Standard Chartered Plc is considering making Dublin its legal base inside the European Union after Britain begins the formal process of withdrawing from the bloc, according to people with knowledge of the firm’s plans.

The bank has approached Irish officials about setting up a subsidiary in the city and getting a license to operate across the EU, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. No final decision has been taken, and one person said Standard Chartered is also in talks with Germany’s regulator about alternatively choosing Frankfurt.

In the months since the UK vote to leave the EU, banks have gone from threatening to move jobs abroad to picking likely destinations and consulting local authorities. Global banks are worried about losing easy access to the bloc from the UK and want to have new or expanded offices up and running within the EU before the end of Brexit negotiations, expected in March 2019.

Citigroup, for example, is considering moving some of its London-based derivatives traders to Frankfurt, Bloomberg reported last week.

“Our focus is on ensuring market access for our clients, and we will maximise planning and preparedness while we observe developments over the next few months until Article 50 is triggered,” Standard Chartered said in a statement. “At this time no decision has been taken.”

The bank has no plans to move its global headquarters from London, the people said.

Britain must invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty, formally notifying Brussels of its intention to withdraw, to begin the process of exiting the bloc. That will launch negotiations to work out the details of Britain’s relationship with the EU after Brexit, notably whether UK-based companies can continue to provide services in the single market.

Officials from a host of European cities such as Dublin, Paris and Luxembourg have been courting London-based investment banks since the June referendum. Executives from banks including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley have said they will relocate staff from London if the UK is stripped of its so-called passporting rights.