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By Padraic Halpin
DUBLIN, May 12 (Reuters) - Settlement bank Euroclear is looking at the option of setting up a branch or subsidiary to provide a route between its UK and Irish markets following Brexit, the head of its UK and Irish operation said on Friday.
Brussels-based Euroclear's UK operation Crest currently settles both UK and Irish shares and John Trundle did not rule out the settlement of Irish shares moving from London to the continent.
Settlement refers to the final leg of a financial trade, when legal ownership is exchanged for cash.
"That will have to change a bit in the light of Brexit and we are looking at the options of a branch and a subsidiary to try to provide a route by which we can provide solutions to this market," John Trundle told a conference in Dublin.
Asked by Reuters afterwards if actual settlements would still take place on UK soil or be moved to Dublin or Brussels, Trundle said all of those options were being examined.
"You can't answer that without knowing what the rules are. And it depends what you mean by soil, do you mean legal entity or place of computers. These questions are not trivial questions, they are very complex," Trundle told Reuters.
"The one thing that we are sure about is that we will work on options that will deliver solutions for the Irish market. Beyond that, at this point, I just have to be cautious. We are at probably the worst point of uncertainty."
Euroclear is consulting the market and authorities and the option it chooses will depend on the outcome of those talks, Trundle said, adding that market providers were hoping for a longer transition period between Britain's departure in 2019 and the finalising of its new trading arrangements. (Additional reporting by John Geddie; editing by Susan Thomas)