Ireland processing over 100 Brexit-related applications from finance firms - central bank

Offices in the Central Bank of Ireland are seen in the financial district in Dublin, Ireland November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s central bank has seen a surge in financial services firms seeking to set up or extend their operations in Ireland as a result of Brexit and is processing over 100 applications, its governor Philip Lane said on Thursday.

Ireland last year said it had received over 100 enquiries from London-based companies examining moves, but the central bank’s update suggested firms are triggering plans on how to serve their customers once Britain leaves the European Union.

“The potential activities range from banks, investment firms, trading venues, electronic money institutions, commercial insurance and retail insurance,” Lane told a parliamentary committee.

Although Lane reiterated that Brexit will be negative for Ireland’s economy and financial system, the growth of its international financial centre as a result of neighbouring Britain leaving the bloc is seen as one of the opportunities.

Barclays, Legal & General Investment Management and Standard Life Aberdeen are among the companies who have chosen Dublin as a post-Brexit base against stiff competition from rival centres including Luxembourg, Frankfurt and Paris.

The Irish Central Bank’s Director of Asset Management Supervision Michael Hodson said last week that the bank had seen a sizeable number of fund management companies seeking to relocate to Ireland.

He also warned that firms who had not yet lodged their applications would face a challenge to get authorised by March 2019, when Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by John Stonestreet and Hugh Lawson