Bank of America's Dublin ambitions get even bigger

Hundreds of extra jobs could be in the pipeline...

Bank of America's Dublin ambitions get even bigger

Picture by: Myung Jung Kim/PA Archive/PA Images

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is looking for more office space in Dublin that could accommodate hundreds of additional staff.

According to Irish Times sources, the Wall Street giant is among the most advanced global banks in terms of considering expansion in the capital as it braces itself for the impact of Brexit.

This newly-reported expansion would be in addition to plans, first reported by the newspaper in February, to increase its Irish workforce by 17% to over 700 people. Government officials were briefed on its plans, though the bank itself has declined to comment

It is currently developing its global technology and operations hub in Leopardstown and also has offices on Hatch Street in the city centre.

Last month, Bank of America’s head of corporate banking in Germany, Switzerland and Austria called Dublin the "emergency default option" in the seemingly inevitable event of the UK losing easy access to the Single Market.

Nikolaus Närger noted, however, that a final decision had not been made, meaning that another location could be chosen. He also stated that the bank would continue to have a large presence in London.

Bank of America is the second-largest US bank by market value, priced at over $240 billion (€220bn).

Merrill Lynch International Bank (MLIB), the group's Irish subsidiary, had the largest balance sheet among Dublin-based financial institutions before its derivatives portfolio was moved to the UK in 2013.

 

A recent study from Movinga named Dublin as the top place for companies to relocate to due to Brexit.

The ranking puts the Irish capital at the top spot for banks, citing everything from the language to the cost of a cocktail.

They survey looked at and compared a number of factors including income tax rate, the cost of dry cleaning, the number of Michelin restaurants and the cost of air fare to London.

"Everyone is talking about cities like Paris and Frankfurt preparing for an influx of banking industry workers due to Brexit," said Movinga's managing director Finn Hänsel.

"But other cities like Dublin, Valletta, Luxembourg and Amsterdam may actually be better equipped to make these workers feel happy and at home."

Thus far, Barclays has decided on Dublin becoming its main EU centre with plans to hire 150 additional staff. US investment group Legg Mason has also announced plans to establish a fund management company in the capital.

In terms of missed opportunities, Luxembourg secured AIG and Blackstone, and Lloyd's of London is setting up a subsidiary in Brussels.