Standard Life gears up for post-Brexit Dublin move

Biggest indication yet the insurer is bound for the Irish capital

Standard Life gears up for post-Brexit Dublin move

Edinburgh Castle during the Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time, marking the official start of the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival. Picture by: Jane Barlow/PA Archive/PA Images

Standard Life's chairman has confirmed that Dublin is likely to be its choice to host its new European Union base.

The UK insurer and asset manager is more reliant of EU business than many of its British counterparts, with Sir Gerry Grimstone admitting it "cant take a chance" on Brexit.

At the firm's annual general meeting on Tuesday, Grimstone told shareholders:

"The most likely scenario – and the one we are now working towards – is using our Dublin-based operation to continue to support our European customers and clients. 

"We are now working through the regulatory matters and other arrangements we would need to put in place to facilitate this."

Standard Life has operated in Ireland since 1834 and currently employs around 300 people in the capital. 

The new move would involve turning this Dublin branch into a fully-fledged subsidiary, regulated by the Central Bank.

Picture by: David Cheskin/PA Wire/PA Images

It is currently headquartered in Edinburgh. In 2014, Standard Life warned Scottish citizens that it would have to move operations outside of Scotland if the country opted to vote 'Yes' to independence from the UK, sparking a major political row in the months leading up to the September referendum that year.

Shareholders are set to vote next month on the firm's planned £11 billion (€12.84bn) merger with Scottish rival Aberdeen Asset Management.

The newly-merged firm would be known henceforth as Standard Life Aberdeen and would see it shed 800 employees to streamline the business.