Bank of America Brexit preparations cost $400m

Pedro Gonçalves
Bank of America Brexit preparations cost $400m

Bank of America has spent around $400m on preparing for Brexit, which has seen the bank move some operations from London to Dublin and Paris.  

Its vice chairman Anne Finucane said the decision to reorganise its business would not now be reversed, even if Brexit did not happen. "Multiply that by the number of financial institutions that are doing the same thing and it adds up," Finucane told the fourth European Financial Forum in Dublin of the impact that Brexit will have on the UK banking sector. 

Barclays has spent $100m to $200m moving operations and staff out of Britain to prepare for Brexit, its UK chairman Gerry Grimstone said.International banks have been setting up subsidiaries across the European Union since Britain voted to leave the bloc in 2016 to ensure they can continue to serve clients if their operations in London lose the rights to do so from March 29.

"Multiply that by the number of financial institutions that are doing the same thing and it adds up"

As part of its Brexit preparations Bank of America last year named Dublin as its new European banking headquarters and Paris as its European trading headquarters. 

That has seen $50bn in assets shifted to Dublin, with around 800 people set to be employed here. The bank's headcount in Paris is set to hit around 500. Finucane explained some of those jobs have come at the expense of its London offices. 

"They will diminish somewhat what we'll have in the UK," she said. "It's not pluses across the board, it means a reduction in the UK offices."

Barclays has moved its European headquarters and almost 200bn euros in assets to Dublin and last year began shifting 40 to 50 investment banking jobs to Frankfurt from London. 

"I hate to say that we're more cost effective than Bank of America. We've certainly spent 100, 150 or 200 million," Grimstone said in Dublin.

Morgan Stanley's head of EMEA, Clare Woodman, declined to say how much the bank had spent on its moves to Paris and Frankfurt. She said only that the company is well placed for whatever happens at the end of March.