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One of Canada’s largest banks picks Dublin as post-Brexit hub

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Bank of Montreal is one of Canada’s ‘big five’ banks. Photo: Reuters

Bank of Montreal, one of Canada’s largest banks, has chosen its Irish unit as its post-Brexit European hub.

Bank of Montreal Ireland (BMI) will become “instrumental to the group’s strategic operations in Europe,” according to Standard and Poor’s, which revealed its latest rating of the division on Wednesday.

As part of the bank’s contingency plans, the Irish unit will be used to grant the group the required “passporting” rights to provide banking services across the European Union.

It will also give it access to European Central Bank funding.

Bank of Montreal Ireland’s “main purpose,” the rating agency said, “is to serve the group’s clients.”

It thus does not expect the unit’s share of the group’s global revenues to expand substantially more than the “less than 1%” it contributed in 2017.

“We expect BMI to continue to expand its existing set of product offerings across debt and equity capital markets, structured products, and corporate banking to new and existing BMO clients in Europe,” S&P said in its summary.

Bank of Montreal is one of Canada’s traditional “big five” banks — and one of the largest banks in the world.

Dublin has emerged as the top choice for firms looking to shore up their post-Brexit European operations, according to leading consultancy firm EY.

READ MORE: Why Dublin is winning a bulk of Brexit-fuelled relocations

Assets worth about £1tn ($1.3tn) and over 7,000 positions are thought to have been shifted out of London as part of Brexit-related contingency planning, EY warned on Wednesday.

Barclays and Bank of America are two firms that have chosen Dublin as their new European hubs.