Brexit Uncertainty Makes Ireland More Attractive

By Maggie Holland, Editorial Assistant
January / February 2019

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has relocated its main EU banking arm from London to Dublin, months ahead of the earliest possible date of the UK’s exit from the EU. They are one of the first banks to take such steps to deal with the uncertainty looming over Brexit.

The bank merged the London location, which oversees €50 billion in assets, with its Irish subsidiary, bringing the total Ireland-based workforce to more than 800 people, split between two offices.

The new Irish hub will be led by the bank’s former Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson, and Cork native Rob Cahill will oversee its global technology and operations function.

“After many months of preparation and having just completed our cross border merger, we now stand ready to serve our clients seamlessly in their final preparations for Brexit and for the long term,” said Thompson.

Businesses are not the only ones making moving arrangements. As the Brexit negotiations linger on, some students in Northern Ireland have expressed their reservations about the deal and have made contingency plans regarding the border, with many applying for Irish passports.

The Irish backstop is a big point of concern. If there appears to be more of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, like the one seen above from the 1970s, the students say it will galvanize moderates to turn to Ireland and the EU. ♦

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