The Irish Government would consider making an attempt to house the European Banking Authority (EBA) in the event of its relocation from London but as yet there is no specific plan in place, the Irish Independent understands.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said the Government is committed to maximising any opportunities that might arise out of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
The EBA is a banking watchdog body that aims to “safeguard the integrity, efficiency and orderly functioning of the banking sector” across the EU, with around 160 employees in London. It would have to relocate when Brexit takes effect.
Other countries have been quick to stake a claim for its new headquarters.
Spain’s deputy prime minister said on Friday that it would look to host the EBA’s HQ, with other cities including Paris and Frankfurt also in the race.
Spain has set up a working group to drive its bid for the EBA and for the London-based European Medicines Agency, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told a news conference.
The EBA is expected to be relocated “soon”, two EU officials told Reuters shortly after the UK referendum. On Wednesday, Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes said Dublin would serve as an ideal location for the EBA, given that many of Europe’s biggest banks conduct operations here.
“This is now up to the Government to convince European colleagues that Dublin is the most suitable new location for the authority,” Mr Hayes said.
“Dublin shares the closest similarities to London in terms of language, business environment and financial services activity. This would make a move to Dublin much smoother than other capitals.”
Meanwhile, Mr Noonan has said the Central Bank has enough regulatory resources to cope with an influx of financial services firms in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, saying he is confident it is capable of significantly expanding its capabilities given that it has done so in the past. (Additional reporting Reuters)
160: The number of EBA employees in London
38,000: The number employed in the financial services sector here
€38m: The EBA’s revenue in its 2016 financial year
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