[LONDON] Ireland's central bank has seen a "material increase" in UK-based financial firms considering a licence to operate in Ireland since the Brexit vote, its deputy governor Cyril Roux said Thursday.
"Several" companies have already started the application process seeking authorisation in Ireland since Britain voted on June 23 to leave the European Union, said Roux, without specifying numbers.
"Since the UK referendum, there has been a material increase in the number of authorisation queries from UK-authorised entities," he said in a speech at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin.
"Many of these engagements have been preliminary in nature. But several have moved into the pre-application or application phase, and this is likely to continue in the coming months as UK firms prepare for the possibility of a loss of passporting rights into the EU."
The European "passport" allows financial companies to sell products across the EU with authorisation from just one of the 28 member states.
Firms registered in the UK risk losing this access when Britain leaves the bloc.
Boosting hopes of a softer landing, Britain's Brexit minister David Davis indicated Thursday that Britain could consider paying for continued access to the single market.
Mr Roux said the bank was "open" to firms seeking authorisation in Ireland, provided they intend to have "a substantive presence" there.