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Bank of America completes Brexit switch

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DUBLIN (Reuters) – Bank of America finished moving its banking and markets operations in Europe to a new base in Dublin from London, the bank said yesterday, after it received all necessary regulatory and court approvals.

International banks are setting up subsidiaries across the European Union to ensure they can continue to serve clients. Their London operations may lose the right to operate across the EU with Britain’s departure from the bloc in March still filled with uncertainty.

As part of its preparation for Brexit, Bank of America announced last year that it would merge Bank of America Merrill Lynch International, its London-based subsidiary, into its Irish entity based in Dublin.

“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,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch Europe chair Anne Finucane said in a statement.

Bank of America last year became the first US bank to pick Dublin as its new base for its EU operations, as the Irish capital’s growing financial centre competes with the likes of Frankfurt and Paris to win business leaving London.

Ireland’s central bank said in October that it is processing over 100 Brexit-related applications to authorise firms across sectors including investment management, banking, payments and insurance.

The regulator is still receiving applications from small to medium financial firms looking to set up or extend operations in Dublin, and it is aware of more to be submitted as the Brexit clock ticks down, an official familiar with the process said last month.

Bank of America will relocate up to 125 jobs from Britain, mostly to Ireland, as part of the move, according to a corporate filing seen by Reuters earlier this year.

The bank said employees in finance, risk, compliance, technology and credit functions would be affected. The moves will be a combination of staff relocation and new hires. It is set to take place between July and December this year.

The roles represent a first phase of job moves. A second is possible depending on the outcome of Britain’s negotiations with the EU, the bank said. The second phase would mostly relocate jobs to France, with some going to Ireland, Germany and other locations.

Bank of America said yesterday that it now employs over 800 people in Dublin.

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