Barclays has revealed plans to expand its Dublin operations as part of Brexit contingency plans.
The move comes a week after top executives at five of the UK’s largest banks said a staggered deal on leaving the European Union is only likely to be agreed late on in talks with Brussels, meaning they have already begun relocating staff to head-off post-Brexit trading issues for financial services firms.
Seeming to echo those sentiments, Barclays said in a statement: “In the absence of certainty around… an agreement, we intend to take necessary steps to preserve ongoing market access for our customers.”
According to reports, the bank’s Dublin office could be bolstered by up to 150 staff, a recruitment or relocation drive that would potentially double its size.
However, the lender said it would not comment on how many employees could be added to its Irish operations, or whether the increased Dublin workforce would be carried out using relocation of UK staff or local recruitment.
Instead, it stated only that it was now in discussions with the regulator over plans to use the Dublin subsidiary to continue trading within the EU.
“Barclays Bank Ireland, which has a banking licence and which we have operated for almost 40 years, provides a natural base and we are engaging with our regulators in discussions to extend its activities,” the bank said, in a statement.
“While we remain confident of continued deep inter-linkages between EU and UK financial services markets, in the absence of certainty around the timing and composition of an agreement, we intend to take necessary steps to preserve ongoing market access for our customers.”
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”.