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By Anjuli Davies
LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - Barclays is talking with Irish regulators about extending its activities in Dublin in preparation for when Britain leaves the European Union, the British bank said in a statement on Friday.
Barclays already has a licensed entity in Dublin, Barclays Bank Ireland, employing around 100 people, which currently has a licence to conduct mainly corporate banking activities, and intends to extend the range of that licence so it can continue serving clients once Britain leaves the bloc.
In January, Reuters reported that Barclays was preparing to make Dublin its EU headquarters post-Brexit as global banks and insurers begin to enact contingency plans on how they will continue to access the European single market.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has asked banks to show by Friday how they can avoid their customers being abruptly cut off after Brexit, which bankers say may inadvertently speed up the departure of jobs from Britain.
“Barclays intends to utilise an existing licensed EU-based bank subsidiary to continue passported activity,” the bank said.
“Barclays Bank Ireland, which has a banking licence and which we have operated for almost 40 years, provides a natural base and we are engaging with our regulators in discussions to extend its activities.”
Barclays chief executive Jes Staley met with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Monday, the bank added.
Staley has previously said Brexit would be “a wholly manageable challenge” and the bank could shift around 150 staff to Ireland depending on the outcome of negotiations, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
“In the absence of certainty around the timing and composition of an agreement, we intend to take necessary steps to preserve ongoing market access for our customers,” the bank said.
In June, Barclays appointed investment banker Kevin Wall as chief executive of its business in Ireland, in a sign it was preparing to potentially expand operations there due to Brexit.
This is another win for Dublin after Wall Street bank JPMorgan in May agreed to buy a Dublin building with room for 1,000 staff, with CEO Jamie Dimon also meeting with the Irish Prime Minister earlier this month. (Reporting By Anjuli Davies; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and David Evans)