After a Few ‘Nightmares,’ Bank of America Ready for Brexit

(Bloomberg) --

Bank of America is now set up to deal with the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, a senior executive said.

While the firm is ready for Brexit, it has “consumed days and nights and a few nightmares,” the firm’s Vice Chairman Anne Finucane said in a speech in Dublin on Tuesday, adding she didn’t want to discuss the subject further. The Irish capital serves as the headquarters of the firm’s European bank, with approvals granted a year ago by regulators.

BofA will have about 800 people in Dublin, 500 in Paris, as a result of Brexit transition, Finucane said at conference in the Irish capital earlier this year. The transition would cost the firm about $400 million, she forecast. Last month, Citigroup Inc.’s European head Zdenek Turek said U.K. politicians needed to come to a decision on Brexit and avoid prolonging uncertainty.

Separately, Finucane said the firm’s environmental, social and governance business is now able to provide financing at market rates and no longer needs to offer lower prices to boost business. Finucane is responsible for Bank of America’s ESG business, which includes green bonds and providing finance for environmentally friendly projects.

“What was once concessionary capital is now at market rates,” Finucane said. “This business is real.”

While it sometimes does take concessions to get business off the ground, “the movement has taken on enough mass that we’re really seeing a big change,” she said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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