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Brexit win for Dublin as US ratings agency picks Irish city over London

The US company said Brexit was a factor in the decision adding “it wasn’t worth taking the risk on London”.


In another sign that Brexit is hurting the UK, US company Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) has announced plans to set up its European headquarters in Dublin. As well as being the first of KBRA’s offices outside of the US, it will create 100 jobs in Dublin over the next three years.

KBRA is a full service credit rating agency established in 2010 following the financial crisis. It has since grown to have offices across the US and published over 8,000 ratings totalling $740 billion.

It’s more good news for the Irish capital as European cities seek to make the most of opportunities from Brexit. And it’s more bad news for London as KBRA’s Head of Europe Mauricio Noé told Ireland’s RTE radio that Brexit was a factor in their decision. The Guardian’s business live blog reports Noé as also saying “it wasn’t worth taking the risk on London” because of Brexit.

Ireland’s inward investment promotion agency IDA Ireland welcomed the news hailing it as a “Brexit win” for the city.

This is another Brexit win for Ireland and indicates that financial institutions that may have previously chosen London now view Dublin as a viable post Brexit solution.

Martin Shanahan, chief executive of IDA Ireland

It’s the second “Brexit win” in as many days for Ireland. Yesterday, XL group announced its preference for Dublin for its European headquarters. In a statement, XL Group revealed plans to “move its principal European Union insurance company, XL Insurance Company SE, from the UK to Ireland in 2018 in response to Brexit”. Commenting on the plans, XL Group chief executive Mike McGavick said: “Since the referendum announcement, we have been clear that our top priority is to provide certainty and consistency of service to our clients and brokers.” He added the move to Ireland “means we deliver on that commitment.” As Oliver Ralph reports in the Financial Times, it’s one of a number of insurers “taking action ahead of the probable loss of passporting rights” when the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

If there’s anyone winning from Brexit so far, it’s not the UK.

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