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Irish central bank sets up teams to handle Brexit queries

The Central Bank of Ireland is setting up new teams to handle queries from banks, insurers, investment firms and financial market infrastructure businesses looking to expand their presence in the country as the U.K. moves to exit the EU, The Irish Times reported March 28, citing Governor Philip Lane.

Most of these queries were either related to "scaling up" existing lines of activity in Ireland or an expansion of the range of activities of licensed financial entities, Lane said on the sidelines of a conference in London.

With Ireland having seen an increase in queries from U.K.-based financial services firms looking to set up or enlarge operations in Ireland, the central bank is preparing "to expand our range of supervisory activity as required," Lane added. He called for a "stringent approach" to regulation of financial services in the post-Brexit environment.

Further, financial firms licensed to operate from Ireland will have to show compliance with EU's requirements and demonstrate "that the setup permits effective supervision, with local management accountable for decision making," Lane said.

"As financial firms work out strategies to manage the implication of Brexit, it is important for the policy community to ensure that regulatory arbitrage does not play a material role,” Lane said.

The central bank reportedly received five applications from insurance or reinsurance undertakings for authorization to operate in Ireland, and five others signaled a "firm intention" to apply, the newspaper reported, citing the Central Bank of Ireland's director of insurance supervision, Sylvia Cronin. Another 20 insurance entities expressed interest in authorization, she added.