Barclays launches European ownership shift from UK to Ireland

By Bruno Reis

The UK-based banking and financial services firm, Barclays, has launched the process of relocating the direct ownership of its French, German, and Spanish branches from the UK to Ireland.

The bank has made the decision to shift from its UK-based entity ahead of the nation’s departure from the European Union (EU).

The action is part of its Brexit contingency plan, Reuters reported – citing sources with “direct knowledge of the plans”.

The sources claim that eventually the company will relocate all of its European businesses to Ireland, including operations in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands.

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This would lead to the Irish bank owning £224bn (US$286.5bn) in assets from the company’s total recorded £1.1trn ($1.41trn) at the end of 2017.

Earlier in August, Barclays reportedly revealed plans to expand its Irish operations to investors – placing focus on corporate, investment, and private banking, as well as its credit card unit in Germany.

Several banks have recently begun their plans to prepare for Britain’s leaving the EU in March, opting to not wait for the result of negotiations in order to arrange for a potential ‘no-deal’ outcome.

HSBC has already started transitioning the ownership of its European businesses from the UK to France, with Lloyds having planned three subsidiaries in EU countries, Reuters noted in July.

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