UBS revising plans for mass relocation from London

In a retraction of earlier relocation plans, UBS has decided not to move a number of jobs from London to Europe. The UBS chief executive claimed the change was a result of regulatory clarification.

UBS branch: UBS won't be mass moving jobs from London to a European hub post-Brexit
Swiss bank UBS is rowing back from plans to relocate up to 1,000 jobs from London to a new European hub after Brexit, chief executive Sergio Ermotti has revealed.

Jobs may still be relocated depending on passporting rights

Although some staff will still be moved to the continent if, after Brexit, the UK loses the passporting rights that enable British-based banks to operate freely throughout Europe, Mr Ermotti said it was “more and more unlikely” that it would now involve the 1,000 people – a fifth of its London complement – the bank had originally envisaged.Mr Ermotti said this was because he had received “regulatory and political clarifications” about the arrangements once the UK leaves the bloc, although he declined to specify what these clarifications involved.
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He told reporters, “We are finalising our plan on where to move people that need to be moved over the next ... one to three years depending on the outcome of this political discussion and negotiation.“The (relocation of) 1,000 jobs you mention is becoming, in the last few months, more and more unlikely because we received some regulatory and political clarification about what we need to do. Our target is to keep as many people as we can in London.”Mr Ermotti said UBS was now looking at how post-Brexit jobs would be spread around Europe. “We are looking between a couple of countries, like Spain and Holland, maybe having, on a branch basis, people operating from those locations under the licence of our Frankfurt-based bank.”

London expected to remain as financial services hub

His comments follow those over the summer of Andrea Orcel, the head of UBS’ investment bank, who said that London was unlikely to lose its role as a hub of European finance because there was a “whole ecosystem around financial services”, including non-work related such as housing, schools and culture.These assets, Mr Orcel said, would be “difficult to replicate” in other European cities, adding that many finance workers living in London did not want to leave the capital and be forced to start new lives elsewhere.A spokesman for the Treasury said, “The Chancellor has made it clear that it is his priority to ensure the UK remains the financial services centre of the world.“We will continue to work closely with the City to negotiate a transitional arrangement which avoids unnecessary disruption, and allows firms to adjust in an orderly way to the new arrangements after Britain leaves the EU.”

Transition clarity still required by London

Last week, the City of London Corporation became the latest organisation to warn Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond that banks and other financial firms based in the capital would start activating Brexit contingency plans to relocate unless the government provided clarity over a transition period by year-end.For related news and features, visit our Brexit section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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