February 13, 2019 / 1:58 PM / 8 months ago

Barclays says has spent up to 200 million pounds on Brexit

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Barclays has spent 100 to 200 million pounds ($129-258 million) moving operations and staff out of Britain to prepare for Brexit, its UK chairman Gerry Grimstone said on Wednesday as bank bosses detailed the costs involved.

The logo of Barclays bank is seen on glass lamps outside of a branch of the bank in the City of London financial district in London September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

International banks have been setting up subsidiaries across the European Union since Britain voted to leave the bloc in 2016 to ensure they can continue to serve clients if their operations in London lose the rights to do so from March 29.

Barclays has moved its European headquarters and almost 200 billion euros in assets to Dublin and last year began shifting 40 to 50 investment banking jobs to Frankfurt from London.

Grimstone detailed Barclays’ costs after Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane told a banking conference in Dublin that her bank had spent $400 million on its Brexit preparations.

“I hate to say that we’re more cost effective than Bank of America. We’ve certainly spent 100, 150 or 200 million,” Grimstone said at Dublin’s annual European Financial Forum.

Morgan Stanley’s head of EMEA, Clare Woodman, declined to say how much the bank had spent on its moves to Paris and Frankfurt.

Grimstone said Barclays had swiftly moved to take advantage of the new environment.

“We identified a couple of years ago that there were huge opportunities for us. We haven’t been dragged kicking and screaming to this,” he said of Barclays’ new Dublin office. It can accommodate a staff of 400 and 1,700 staff around Europe will report to it.

“We believe this will give us a competitive advantage on the continent which we haven’t had before,” he said.

“At the same time as expanding here, we are expanding our trading presence in Frankfurt and we will use this to be a major force in the euro market and in euro clearing.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Graham Fahy; editing by Jason Neely

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