British banking giant Standard Chartered is reportedly considering a European Union subsidiary to maintain its EU market presence post-Brexit. While Standard Chartered has no plans to shift its headquarters from London, the subsidiary would act as a legal base in the EU.
This would help the British bank continue its business operations in the EU even if the UK loses access to the single market in the Brexit negotiations. The company has shortlisted Ireland's capital Dublin and Germany's financial hub Frankfurt for the entity, Bloomberg reported.
A spokesman for Standard Chartered said: "Our focus is on ensuring market access for our clients, and we will maximise planning and preparedness while we observe developments over the next few months until Article 50 is triggered."
The news comes just days after Philip Hammond and David Davis pledged a "smooth and orderly" Brexit transition. The UK Chancellor and Brexit minister made promise in a meeting with high-profile financial services chiefs on Monday (5 December).
The 90-minute meeting at the Warwick Business School in The Shard was attended by senior executives of 10 UK financial services companies. One of the topics discussed was the options that could be provided for these financial companies to retain access to the European single market post Brexit.
Both Hammond and Davis suggested that these companies could be given new passporting rights to operate across the bloc based on the principle of equivalence. While nothing is certain until the Brexit process is set in motion in 2019, many UK firms are afraid of losing their rights to provide services across the EU.