JP Morgan in Dublin docklands move to address Brexit

JP Morgan has snapped up an office building in Dublin with the capacity to house 1,000 staff as it ramps up its Brexit contingency planning.

JP Morgan's office in Dublin will have the capacity to house 1,000 staff. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The US banking giant – which said earlier this month that it plans to move up to 1,000 London jobs to Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg in a bid to secure its EU business after Brexit – has acquired the 200 Capital Dock building in the Irish capital.

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Carin Bryans, senior country officer for JP Morgan in Ireland, said: “Given the momentum of our local businesses, this new building gives us room to grow and some flexibility within the European Union.”

It is also understood that the expansion is down to the success of its existing operation in the city, where it currently employs 500 people. JP Morgan also employs more than 1,300 at its Glasgow fintech centre.

The Capital Dock building, purchased from real estate firm Kennedy Wilson, measures 130,000 square feet and is situated in Dublin’s docklands area.

Daniel Pinto, chief executive of JP Morgan’s corporate and investment bank, said at the beginning of this month that a “substantial portion” of the lender’s business in London will have to be moved to the EU.

“We will have to move hundreds of people in the short-term to be ready for day one, when negotiations finish, and then we will look at the longer-term numbers,” he said.

“We have to plan for a scenario where there is no UK-EU passporting deal, and we have to move a substantial portion of our business to continue serving our European clients.”

JP Morgan will relocate between 500 and 1,000 front and back office staff from London, with custody business roles destined for Dublin, treasury services set to settle in Luxembourg, and investment banking positions bound for Frankfurt, according to people familiar with the matter.

It is understood that the relocation drive will take place ahead of spring 2019, when the two-year window for Brexit negotiations draws to a close, and the UK is expected to lose passporting rights for financial services.

Kennedy Wilson boss Mary Ricks added: “The Dublin occupier market is buoyant and we are in active and advanced dialogue with both Irish and international companies attracted to our visionary Capital Dock development and looking to base themselves in the heart of Dublin.”

A growing list of financial services firms have confirmed relocation plans following the Brexit vote, with HSBC moving 1,000 staff to France, AIG set to shift a string of executives to Luxembourg and Lloyd’s of London opting for a subsidiary in Brussels.

JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon previously indicated around 4,000 of the bank’s 16,000 UK employee base could move as a result of Brexit.