Barclays Invests £2.2bn Into Irish Unit Ahead Of Brexit

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Barclays made a capital injection amounting to €2.6 billion (£2.2 billion) into its Irish bank over the past year, as it endeavoured to prepare the newly expanded unit for its role post-Brexit.

The new accounts that were filed with authorities in Ireland also reveal that Barclays Bank Ireland, which is currently the main European Union base of the banking group, received approximately €1 billion in equity contributions in the 10 weeks between the period of the st of January and 13th of March of this year.

The Irish unit has also taken some steps that will aim to strengthen its balance sheet. Last year, it sold €200 million in subordinated debt to its parent bank, and it also received another €500 million in further subordinated debt investment in the first 10 weeks of the year.

In terms of actual assets, the bank had registered that the Irish unit would absorb approximately £224 billion (€260 billion) of its total £1.17 trillion in assets by the 30th of March, making it Ireland’s largest bank.

Barclays also disclosed that it would move approximately 6,800 clients, who are mainly from the European Economic Area, to the Dublin unit.

The said decision was based on the assumption that its divisions in London would lose their “passporting” rights after Brexit. Currently, the “passporting” mechanism allows them to do business in other countries of the European Union.

Barclays relocated into its new Dublin offices close to the houses of parliament of Ireland’ last November 2018. It said that it would expand its Irish workforce by approximately 200 people.

Last February, Sir Gerry Grimstone, the chairman of its UK bank, said that Barclays had already spent between £100 million and £200 million ($257 million) as it prepares for Brexit.

Grimstone noted that being regulated by the Irish Central Bank — and, due to the size of the bank, the European Central Bank — was considered “a new adventure” for Barclays.

He stated: “We’re impressed with the nature and scale of regulation,” he said.

Grimstone also slammed the effects of Brexit on London. He said that the United Kingdom had gone from being one of the most predictable environments in which to operate to one of the least predictable.