Standard Life, which is merging with Aberdeen Asset Management to create a £650bn giant, is considering making Dublin its new hub inside the EU as it prepares for the UK to lose easy access to the single market, the firm’s chairman said.
Barring "something miraculous" happening, the Edinburgh-based money manager will no longer be able to service its 500,000 Austrian, German and Irish clients from the UK after Brexit, Gerry Grimstone said in an interview on Tuesday in Delhi. Standard Life is weighing turning its Dublin branch into a subsidiary from which it can "passport" into the rest of the EU, he added.
The firm would then "make the German business a branch of the Irish business," said Mr Grimstone. "All of us are preparing road maps like" that.
UK-based financial firms are preparing to move operations into new or expanded bases inside in the EU after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the formal mechanism for quitting the 28-nation bloc. They are planning for a so-called hard Brexit -- the loss of their right to sell services freely around the region from Britain -- and want to have expanded offices up and running elsewhere before the end of the two-year negotiation period.
Dublin “is one of the options we’re considering but no decision has been made,” said Standard Life spokesman Steve Hartley.
Mr Grimstone, who also serves as deputy chairman of Barclays, said London’s financial sector will suffer from less European business, though that could be partially offset by more business with India and China.
“I will confidently say that London is likely to be smaller as a financial centre and that’s no secret,” Mr Grimstone said.
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