JPMorgan CEO meets Irish prime minister on post-Brexit growth

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

DUBLIN (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon met Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Thursday to discuss expansion in the Irish capital two months after the U.S. investment bank bought an office building in the city with room for 1,000 staff.

The bank in May said it plans to hire a significant number of people in Dublin in its expanding custody and funds services businesses over the next three years, as it focuses its European Union operations in Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg after Brexit leaves its largest European office, in London, outside of the bloc.

“I met with Prime Minister Varadkar today to discuss our plans to grow J.P. Morgan’s business over the next several years,” Dimon said in a statement.

“Ireland is at the forefront of training its workforce to keep up with the latest developments in technology and business innovation, and the country has a global, open environment that will keep it economically competitive,” he added.

A spokesman for Varadkar, who was elected Ireland’s youngest ever Taoiseach last month, confirmed the meeting took place but declined to comment further.

JPMorgan currently employs 450 people in Ireland in its Custody & Fund Services, Investment Banking, Payments and Treasury Services business.

The bank in May announced a deal to acquire a 130,000 square foot (12,000 square meter) building at the Capital Dock development in Dublin’s docklands, which could house around 1,000 staff.

Ireland has engaged on a major lobbying campaign during the past year to try to convince companies with large bases in the United Kingdom to consider moving some of their staff to Ireland to maintain access to the European Union’s single market.

The head of Frankfurt’s campaign to promote the city to banks since Britain voted to leave the EU told Reuters in May he expected the five largest U.S. investment banks to move staff to more than one EU location with around 1,000 going to Frankfurt and possibly more to Dublin.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Hugh Lawson