Dozens of UK firms are considering the relocation of their operations to Ireland as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, according to one major insurer.
The investment management arm of Irish Life has received more than 50 inquiries from companies mulling the move to Ireland following the Brexit vote last year, the Irish Times
Patrick Burke, managing director at Irish Life Investment Managers, said the companies are mostly from the financial services sector.
Burke refused to identify the firms, but he said many of them had existing operations in Ireland.
“It is still too early to determine what [number will come here] but the level of enquiries is giving us a good deal of comfort about our [office] development opportunities,” Irish Times
quoted Burke as saying.
“If you look at the quantity of supply that’s coming through [across the whole office market] at the moment, I would say we’ll be in a position to meet the current level of demand over the coming two to three years if it was reflected on a one-in-five hit ratio on the level of enquiries,” Burke also said.
In November, the Central Bank of Ireland revealed that it was already in talks with insurance companies that were looking to move from the UK.
Sylvia Cronin, the bank’s director of insurance supervision, said that the number of inquiries from UK insurers increased in the third quarter of 2016.
In a move seen as preparation for the potential influx of UK insurance companies, the Dublin Insurance and Management Association and Insurance Ireland are also expected to complete their merger this month.
In recent months, various reports have suggested the possible impact of Brexit on Britain’s powerhouse financial services sector including the insurance industry.
Earlier this week, London Stock Exchange Group chief executive Xavier Rolet told British lawmakers that based on a Ernst & Young report, about “232,000 jobs would be at risk or likely to be lost” in the UK finance sector due to Brexit.
“It’s not the level revenue or the number of jobs created by the underlying activity that counts,” The Independent
quoted Rolet as saying. “It is the onwards upstream and downstream strategic relevance of the business for the trading, syndication, distribution, risk management, IT, as well as treasury management of corporate insurers.”
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