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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 2 December 2021

Scottish financial giant Standard Life says Dublin will likely be its new EU base

The company wants to keep access to the single market after Brexit.

Image: Youtube

SCOTTISH INVESTMENT GIANT Standard Life is likely to select Dublin as its new EU hub post Brexit, the company’s chairman has said.

The Edinburgh-based company has had a presence in Ireland for well over 100 years and already employs about 300 people in Dublin.

The company also has a large presence in the EU, particularly in Germany and Austria. It employs over 6,000 people worldwide and had revenue of over £18 billion last year.

Its chairman, Gerry Grimstone, said at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday that the firm is worried that the UK financial services firms will lose their passporting rights as a result of the country’s vote to leave the EU.

Passporting rights allow a company to easily trade with companies throughout the EU with minimal red tape.

Financial services companies are now setting up EU regulated subsidiaries to ensure that they have access to the single market after Brexit.

‘Can’t take a chance’

Grimstone said that while Standard Life is hopeful that UK companies won’t lose those rights, ”we can’t take a chance on whether the negotiations will produce such an outcome”.

“Over recent months we have been working on contingency plans which are designed to help us protect the continuity of service to these customers and clients,” he said.

“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 and Aberdeen Asset Management merger The Standard Life logo Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The move would likely see the company’s Irish arm, which is run out of the UK, turned into a fully fledged subsidiary that would be regulated by the Central Bank.

Boost for Dublin

Grimstone’s comments comes ahead of a vote Standard Life shareholders on the company’s £11 billion (€13 billion) merger with rival Scottish fund firm Aberdeen Asset Management.

Standard Life’s move would be a boost for Dublin after two large insurance companies, UK-based Lloyd’s of London and US giant AIG, overlooked Ireland when setting up new bases in the EU.

Grimstone’s comments come after it was confirmed earlier this week that JP Morgan plans to buy an office in the heart of Dublin’s docklands that will be able to accommodate 1,000 workers.

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Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ie

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