Two major Asian banks are in “advanced talks” with the State to move part of their London operations to Ireland in the wake of Brexit.
It is understood that Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and the Bank of China (BOC) have both held a series of pre-application meetings with the Central Bank ahead of a potential move to Ireland.
The banks are part of a cohort of up more than 10 City of London based Asian and American banks that are in talks with the State about relocating here.
They include smaller Chinese and Japanese investment banks and asset management firms seeking to maintain access to Europe’s single market.
The talks are being progressed as Ireland secures the first wave of jobs following last June’s shock decision by the British electorate to leave the European Union.
Last week Northern Ireland pharma, Almac, announced that it was creating up to 100 new jobs in Dundalk, Co Louth.
British bank Barclays is also reported to be adding about 150 staff to its existing 100 strong Dublin cohort if UK based finance companies lose easy access to the single market.
SMBC already has a strong presence in Ireland having acquired SMBC Aviation Capital (formerly RBS Aviation Capital) six years ago.
SMBC led a consortium which acquired the Dublin aircraft lessor, one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies.
BOC also has an aviation presence in Ireland, wholly owning an aircraft leasing firm in the capital
SMBC did not comment. Efforts to reach BOC for comment were unsuccessful.
The Government, which recently applied for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is hoping to secure an Asian windfall in the wake of Brexit.
Earlier this month, a Goernment delegation travelled to Hong Kong and Beijing to promote Ireland’s international financial services sector.
“The unique selling point for Dublin to Asia is that Ireland will soon be the only English speaking, common law jurisdiction within the EU,” said Martin Murray, executive director of trade group Asia Matters.
“It is important to communicate that Ireland is pro-Asia and pro-business and that the Central Bank of Ireland welcomes Asian financial institutions of substance. Ireland has robust financial regulation similar to that of the UK.”
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