Belfast Telegraph

Brexit 'could pose risk to financing' of Northern Ireland business

By John Mulgrew

Northern Ireland businesses are set to face a stark crisis in securing finance as major global lenders begin moving operations outside the UK due to Brexit, it's been claimed.

Kieran McGarrigle, who heads up the law firm Arthur Cox's finance team in Belfast, was speaking after two major global lenders, HSBC and UBS, announced they would each move 1,000 staff from the UK following the exit from the EU.

He warned it could return the property market "to 2008 levels" amid concerns that major banks won't provide the liquidity to keep Northern Ireland growing.

Bosses at JP Morgan, HSBC and UBS all confirmed the UK's decision to scrap single market access will have major implications for their operations here.

Mr McGarrigle said Brexit could create a liquidity challenge: "The issue is particularly pertinent to Northern Ireland because of the way financial institutions are regulated.

"The financial services sector is, quite rightly, a heavily regulated sector in the UK. However, much of the regulation originates from the EU, which we are about to leave.

"Currently, if a lender is regulated in the UK, they can operate across Europe, but will these businesses really stay in the UK after we leave the EU? This seems unlikely.

"Northern Ireland is in a unique position in that, although it is based in the UK, some of its major lenders operate from the Republic or other jurisdictions outside the UK. This could have serious implications for Northern Ireland going forward."

Belfast Telegraph