Hayes calls for European Banking Authority to relocate to Dublin
Brian Hayes MEP today (Wednesday) said that the European Banking Authority (EBA) should relocate to Dublin, following comments made by the head of the EBA that it would have to relocate if there was a vote to leave in the UK.
“The European Banking Authority is essentially the banking watchdog of the EU which is based in London. It was founded in 2011 in response to the financial crisis and has since served a massively important role in ensuring stability in the banking industry across the 28 Member States.
“The head of the EBA, Andrea Enria, is on the record saying that the EBA would have to relocate to another European capital if there was a vote to leave the EU. Given its position as a key financial services sector in Europe where many of Europe’s biggest banks conduct operations, Dublin would serve as an ideal location for the European Banking Authority following a Brexit.
“London has acted as an excellent location for the EBA since 2011 and the authority should be praised for the work it has done on developing a single rulebook for all European banks. But it is clear that if Brexit happens as planned, relocation is inevitable.
“This is now up to the government to convince European colleagues that Dublin is the most suitable new location for the Authority. Given that Frankfurt already hosts the ECB, the European Insurance and Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and given that Paris hosts the European Securities and Markets Association (ESMA), I believe there is a real opportunity for Dublin to host the EBA.
“I believe there are three serious arguments that can be made for Dublin as the new location of the EBA. Firstly, Dublin shares the closest similarities to London in terms of language, business environment and financial services activity. This would make a move to Dublin much smoother than other capitals. Secondly, since most of the financial watchdogs are based in Germany or France, it would make sense to spread the EU’s expertise in the area of financial supervision to smaller Member States which can provide benefits of their own. Thirdly, Ireland as a country has come through a huge period of bank restructuring since the crisis and therefore the Irish government would have the understanding and knowledge to facilitate the EBA’s work in Dublin.
“This will be a tough task however. It is written into the EU Regulation establishing the EBA that the official seat of the EBA is in London. Therefore, a relocation to Dublin would mean a change to the legislation which would have to be approved by Member States and the European Parliament. The government will need to be ready with a convincing proposal as to why Dublin is the ideal location. There is no doubt that Frankfurt and Paris will be vying for this institution also.”