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Brexit Gives $228 Billion Boost to Balance Sheets of Irish Banks

A window reflects construction cranes on the skyline of the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland, on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. Ireland issued a record number of passports in 2019 as applications from its citizens in the U.K. surged amid Brexit uncertainty. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

The balance sheets of Ireland’s biggest banks have risen by two-thirds since the Brexit vote, the latest data to demonstrate how Europe’s financial landscape is shifting following the U.K.’s departure from the European Union.

Banks in Ireland regulated by the ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism saw their balance sheets increase from 300 billion euros ($342 billion) in December 2015 to 500 billion euros in July, trade group Banking & Payments Federation Ireland and its affiliate the Federation of International Banks in Ireland said in a report Tuesday.

Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, Citigroup Inc., Barclays Plc and Bank of America Corp. have all set up or expanded units in Ireland that fall under the ECB’s supervision. The main Irish retail banks were already under the ECB’s remit.

“While Ireland’s international financial services sector has steadily grown over the decades, the U.K.’s exit from the EU has accelerated this trend,” Fiona Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo & Co.’s Irish-based unit, said in a statement. “This has seen an influx of new staff, assets, risk management capabilities and investment services activities in Ireland.”

Thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars of assets moved from the City of London since the U.K. voted to leave the bloc. While London remains Europe’s preeminent financial center, the shifts have given momentum to cities from Paris to Frankfurt to Dublin.

Read More: JPMorgan’s Paris Traders Are Only Part of the Threat to London


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