Would Britain leaving the EU bring more business to Ireland?

Financial institutions are drawing up plans for a potential breakup between Britain and the EU

brexit, business

Jonathan Brady / PA

Dublin has been named as the home of the "Great Brexit Hedge" as London-based financial institutions look to Ireland's capital as a means of protecting themselves from losing access to the single market if Britons choose to leave the EU.

This is according to a report from The Financial Times, which says that these firms believe that they should tighten ties with Ireland ahead of the vote.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny formally opened Credit Suisse's new trading floor in Dublin today - while Government officials cited changes to banking rules for making Ireland more competitive and attracting the financial institution to the city the FT reports that in private executives for the bank, and others like it, admit that "they are mindful of how useful a strong relationship with Ireland could be," if the UK leaves the EU.

Citi Bank has chosen Dublin to be the home of its new EU retail bank - both banks formally deny that a potential Brexit has influenced their decision making.

Global head of prime services at Credit Suisse, Mike Paliotta, addressed the issue, he said, "Our decision was made some time ago to choose Dublin so I don’t see any connection with a potential Brexit."

John Fitzgerald, Trinity College, Dublin professor and former economist at the ESRI has said, "There would be a very substantial number of financial asylum seekers from Britain as a result of a British exit," he added that, “The IDA is already circling the City of London making this point.”

The other side

Simon Harris, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform told The Irish Times that despite speculation regarding a Brexit exodus from London to Dublin - a vote for the UK to leave the EU will hurt Irish financial services.

“I’m absolutely convinced that a Brexit is not in the interest of Ireland’s international fund services offering,” he said - adding that Irish offices currently collaborate with banks in the UK and that this relationship would be disrupted.

He said that the UK often acts as an ally to Ireland when negotiating in Europe, "I also make the point that, at a ministerial table at European level, it’s a friendlier table to Ireland’s IFS propositions with a UK minister sitting around it than without a UK minister; because we tend to have a similar outlook when it comes to knowledge development boxes, capital markets union and taxation issues."