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Bank of America prepared for seamless post-Brexit operations

By Sheetal Sukhija, Europe News
04 Dec 2018, 09:17 GMT+10

DUBLIN, Ireland - After becoming the first U.S. bank to choose Dublin as its post-Brexit EU base last year, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced on Monday that its relocation process was now complete. 

The leading investment bank said in a statement on Monday that it had moved its banking and markets operations from London, to its new EU base in Dublin, after receiving all necessary regulatory and court approvals.

As part of its Brexit contingency plans unveiled last year, the U.S. investment bank said that it had completed the planned cross-border merger of its main EU bank in London with its Irish subsidiary, the Merrill Lynch International Bank (MLIB).

Through the move, the Irish capital has effectively become the key hub for its main European banking entity, the bank said in its statement. 

It has also announced that its new Irish unit will be led by Bruce Thompson, a former chief financial officer at the bank.

Further, the bank's global technology and operations function will be headed by Rob Cahill.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Europe Chair and the Vice Chairman at Bank of America, Anne Finucane said, "We are pleased to have worked closely and constructively with our regulators to complete this critical component of our Brexit preparations exactly on schedule and well ahead of the earliest possible date of the UK's exit from the EU."

Meanwhile, Thompson said, "After many months of preparation and having just completed our cross border merger, we now stand ready to serve our clients seamlessly in their final preparations for Brexit and for the long term."

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which has a 1,800-strong workforce at its London operations oversees up to 50 billion euros in assets from its offices in the city.

However, last year, in a bid to ensure continued access to the single European market ahead of Britain's exit from the European Union, several investment banks, including Bank of America moved their operations out of London, relocating their staff to other top EU cities.

The investment banking giant has also confirmed in its statement that it has moved up to 100 staff from London to Dublin, with a majority of the positions being related to the bank's control and support functions. 

However, some roles from finance, risk, compliance, technology and operations too have been relocated. 

The bank's Irish operations have been focussed on global transactions, tech and aircraft leasing and its staff works from two offices, in Leopardstown and Hatch Street.

In February 2017, Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced its plans to expand in Ireland and added 100 new jobs in the country at the time.

Its latest workforce boost, has taken the total number of people hired by the bank in Ireland, to over 800. 

The bank said on Monday that its relocation plans have been implemented four months ahead of the Brexit deadline.

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