Central Bank warns against UK companies moving to Ireland on paper only

It expects Brexit defectors to have substantive Irish operations...

Central Bank warns against UK companies moving to Ireland on paper only

The Crann an Oir on Dame Street | Photocall file photo

The Central Bank is warning that companies will have to have a 'real' presence in Ireland if they want to set up here after Brexit.

Director of Policy and Risk Gerry Cross told a Deloitte briefing last night that the bank expects companies to have a "substantive presence" in Ireland and that the regulator will want to ensure the board and management of a business are located in this country.

"We stand ready to do our job; we are open for engagement. We will do so on the basis of an active, open stance, ready to engage, but in line with our duty to protect consumers, and in keeping with international standards," he said.

"It would not make much business sense to place a disconnected head in Ireland while the operations are run and the business is conducted elsewhere," Mr Cross continued.

Ireland is being seen as potential new location for businesses looking to leave the UK once it quits the EU.

Last week Central Bank Governor Philip Lane has said that banks are already actively considering moving their business activity from the UK to Ireland following its decision to leave the EU.

"The most important point for now is that it's way too early to tell. Institutions aren't in decision-making mode yet, they are essentially doing research," he told Bloomberg Television.

"There has to be some level of relocation depending on how the Brexit negotiations go," he added.

No firms have come to Ireland yet - but Mr Lane says that the groundwork is being laid. Companies in Ireland are regulated by both the Irish Central Bank and the ECB - the official said that staff in Dublin are equipped to deal with an influx of business from the UK.

He added that Ireland wants a "win-win" outcome to the UK's exit negotiations.