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Sunday 25 September 2016

Dublin 'not suitable' for UK firms fleeing Brexit, says German think tank

Finance

The IFSC in Dublin
The IFSC in Dublin

Dublin has less office space and higher commercial rents than Frankfurt, making it a less attractive option for business looking to relocate from post-referendum London, a German think-tank has claimed.

As EU countries ramp up efforts to carve up the Brexit spoils from the City of London, the Cologne Institute for Economic Research has suggested Dublin is also too far down the global financial centre ranking to be a competitor.

Investment

It claimed the city wasn't as internationally accessible as both Paris and Frankfurt, the two other locations suggested as potential beneficiaries from post-Brexit financial services investment.

The loss of "passporting rights" could see some finance houses move operations out of London.

Doubt has already been cast on the extent to which Dublin can benefit from increased foreign investment following the June 23 vote because of infrastructural constraints, including a shortage of housing, and the high personal tax rates.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, the German think tank believes Frankfurt is "likely to be the main profiteer of Brexit".

"Dublin is only ranked 39 in the global financial centre ranking, which measures financial flows, the number of banks and other financial indicators, and it has also deficits in international accessibility, at least compared to Frankfurt and Paris," the report said.

The report also stated that Frankfurt scored strongly in the most recent Mercer Quality of Living Ranking, coming in at seven. That compares with a score of 33 for Dublin and 37 for Paris.

"Of course, quality of living is in particular a question of preferences and without doubt some bankers will prefer Paris and Dublin over Frankfurt, but at least the analysis of Mercer hints at some of the amenities of Frankfurt," the report adds.

Frankfurt, the report states, can attract business which needs knowledge about regulation, as it hosts the European Central Bank and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority is located in Frankfurt, while Paris has the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), although this is less relevant for banks.

Dublin, however, is attracting interest. Insurer Prudential has confirmed it is considering shifting funds from its asset management wing to Dublin and Luxembourg as it moves to deal with the fallout from the UK vote.

The boss of Prudential's M&G fund arm, Anne Richards, said the company could boost the number of funds it already has based in the two cities, depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

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