Citi opts for Frankfurt as post-Brexit hub

Frankfurt continues to be a prime destination for businesses planning to relocate from London, the most recent company Citigroup have announced they are relocating 200 jobs from London to Frankfurt.

Companies have been drawn to Frankfurt in the wake of Brexit negotiations
Post-Brexit plans to create an EU hub in Frankfurt and relocate up to 200 jobs from London were presented to the Citigroup board on Wednesday.The choice of Frankfurt follows months of deliberation over where to locate its EU equities and bond trading centre when the UK leaves the bloc in 2019 and, presumably, loses the 'passporting rights' that currently enable London-based financial institutions to operate freely throughout Europe.

Dublin and Frankfurt are drawing post-Brexit relocations

Citigroup is also planning to boost its operations in Dublin which, along with Frankfurt, is emerging as a main beneficiary of banks' post-Brexit plans to shift jobs from London.Frankfurt has already been chosen by Standard Chartered, Nomura Holdings, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Daiwa Securities as their EU hub in recent weeks. Additionally, Deutsche Bank is understood to be preparing to move to its hometown of Frankfurt large parts of the trading and investment-banking assets it currently books in London.However, Citigroup – like many of the banks – will retain London, where it employs 6,000 of its 9,000 UK staff, as its main headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Currently, the bank employs 350 staff in Frankfurt and the tally is expected to more than double under current plans to relocate London staff and hire locally.
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Hubertus Vath, managing director of the lobby group Frankfurt Main Finance, believes that a total of 10,000 jobs will move to Frankfurt over the next five years, assuming that the European Banking Authority and euro clearing are moved to the German hub.Speaking ahead of a formal announcement from Citigroup, Mr Vath said, “It is great news for the financial centre (of) Frankfurt and we look forward to welcoming our new colleagues. The reported decision by Citi also reaffirms our confidence that at least twelve banks and perhaps as many as 20 will decide for Frankfurt this year.”Mr Vath said he expected more companies to publicly announce their relocation strategies after the financial sector was required last week to submit their Brexit contingency plans to the Bank of England. “Following last week's submissions to the Bank of England, we expect to see the next wave of announcements coming very soon,” he said.

Without a transitional agreement more business may leave the UK

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, has predicted that major City firms will start implementing their Brexit relocation plans at the end of 2017 unless there is an agreement with the EU about the UK’s transitional terms for financial services in the negotiations in Brussels.Mr Bailey said City companies were nearing the point where they would have to take steps to move staff to ensure that they can continue to operate seamlessly once the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.“By the end of this year, their plans tell them that in order to have things in place, they’ve got to implement them,” he said. Without a transition agreement, they will be having to do so without knowing the outcome of the negotiations. Firms were not moving their business yet, he said, but they were talking “more in terms of getting there”.
Read David Sapsted's article on Establishing Right to Remain – which discusses the uncertainty over immigration which the UK faces following Brexit – in the Summer 2017 issue of Relocate Magazine.
For related news and features, visit our Brexit section.

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