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Bank of China applies to set up Irish branch

Further opportunities to boost Ireland’s business relationship with China are expected post-Brexit.

Bank of China's New York headquarters
Bank of China's New York headquarters
Image: Richard B. Levine SIPA USA/PA Images

BANK OF CHINA has applied to the Central Bank for a licence to set up an Irish branch.

The partially state-owned bank has operations in the UK, and an aircraft leasing operation in Ireland.

Business links between Ireland and China have grown in recent years and Brexit is likely to present further opportunities to boost this relationship. The Irish Times reports that the application was filed last month.

Fine Gael senator and spokesperson on EU Affairs Neale Richmond welcomed the news, saying: “Post-Brexit, Ireland but particularly Dublin, can position itself as an alternative base for financial institutions seeking to passport into the European Union.

“Ireland is an attractive place for banks and financial services companies to do business and it is vital that we attract this business to offset the obvious negative economic that Brexit will bring to the wider Irish economy.

This decision is on the back of the approval by Chinese authorities to allow Irish financial institutions to invest nearly €7 billion into the Chinese market, and this reciprocal arrangement of sorts will allow for increased diversification of investment from Ireland to the Orient for all involved.

Richmond added that, in terms of investment, Ireland is “a bit below the EU average when it comes to doing business with the Chinese market”, but the Bank of China move “will go a long way towards boosting this”.

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Órla Ryan

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