United Kingdom: US banks bracing for Brexit

19 August 2014
Financial Times, La Tribune

According to sources quoted by the Financial Times, three American banks — Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley — are “drawing up plans to move some London-based activities to Ireland to address concerns” the UK would leave the European Union after a referendum on EU membership to be held possibly in 2017.

“People familiar with the Wall Street banks told the City daily —

that they considered Ireland a favourable location for some of their European business if they needed to move them out of the UK. One said he was already planning to move some activities to Ireland. The people said their plans were in most cases still at very early stages. But they said the US banks had started preparing for the eurozone’s impending banking union that threatens to isolate Britain.

According to La Tribune, “Ireland would be attractive because of its low tax rate”. Should the “Brexit” eventually happen —

despite the heavy cost of transferring the activity from one city to another, Frankfurt and Paris would be acceptable fallbacks solutions on the Continent for non-European banks.