International banks plan pre-Brexit moves from London

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Dan Kitwood

Two international banks have confirmed they are planning moves out of London ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Standard Chartered has said it is in talks with regulators about making Frankfurt its European base.

And US bank JP Morgan Chase said it is planning to move “hundreds” of bankers out of London.

Standard chairman Jose Vinals said: “We are looking at setting up a subsidiary in the EU to ensure we are prepared.”

“The choice of Frankfurt is very natural as we have a branch there and we do euro clearing there.”

Speaking to Bloomberg News, JP Morgan’s head of investment banking Daniel Pinto said: “We are going to use the three banks we already have in Europe as the anchors for our operations.

“We will have to move hundreds of people in the short term to be ready for day one, when negotiations finish, and then we will look at the longer-term numbers.”

A year ago, JPMorgan chief executive officer Jamie Dimon warned the bank might might cut up to 4,000 UK jobs.

JP Morgan is widely reported to be in talks to buy a Dublin office big enough to hold more than 1,000 workers,

And it is also said to be expanding its offices in Frankfurt and Milan to take on the staff.

Financial services shift

Other financial services companies have announced plans to move staff out of London in recent months, in case the UK fails to secure “passporting” rights for them to operate across EU borders after Brexit.

Deutsche Bank said last week it could move up to 4,000 jobs out of the UK as a result of Brexit – nearly half its UK workforce.

Barclays told the BBC last week the bank was preparing to add hundreds of staff to offices in Dublin, Frankfurt and Milan to counter Brexit risks to its European business.

Goldman Sachs has confirmed it is to start moving hundreds of staff out of London before a Brexit deal is struck.

Insurers Lloyd’s of London and Royal London are also setting up subsidiaries outside the UK.

JP Morgan’s Mr Pinto told Bloomberg: “We have to plan for a scenario where there is no UK-EU passporting deal, and we have to move a substantial portion of our business to continue serving our European clients.

“We’ll have to wait to see what kind of deal can be achieved and see what we need to do from there.”

A JP Morgan Chase spokesperson confirmed Mr Pinto’s remarks, but did not elaborate on the story.

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