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Euroclear to open Ireland-based settlement unit in March 2019 due to Brexit

Euroclear Plc will launch an Ireland-based settlement house in March 2019 called Euroclear Ireland, according to a white paper dated Feb. 8.

The settlement house said Feb. 19 that it recognized that Britain's departure from the EU could mean that providing clearing services for Irish and U.K. corporate securities via Euroclear UK & Ireland Ltd., a U.K.-based entity with no physical presence in Ireland, may become "untenable." The new unit would provide corporate securities depository core services in respect of Irish corporate securities and provide similar but potentially more limited asset servicing offers and other ancillary services than those offered by Euroclear UK and Ireland.

The plan has been approved in principle by the boards of Euroclear SA/NV and Euroclear UK and Ireland but remains subject to regulatory approvals in Ireland, the U.K., Belgium and the U.S, according to the white paper.

The ongoing costs for the new unit will need to be recouped by Euroclear Ireland, prompting a rise in costs for Irish insurers, Reuters said in a Feb. 20 report. Euroclear is the latest financial institution to announce plans for new EU bases to avoid disruption of operations due to Brexit, the newswire added.

Foreign settlement houses are allowed to serve EU clients through the so-called equivalence system, Reuters wrote, but Euroclear said the system does not "offer sufficient certainty to be relied on."