Standard Chartered's Brexit plans at 'advanced' stage

Standard Chartered has said plans for its new EU hub in Frankfurt were at an advanced stage, having set up a management board and launched a hiring spree as the bank continues to ready itself for a worst-case Brexit.

The lender announced last year that it was looking to set up a subsidiary in the German financial centre, and was now expecting to see its licensing application approved by the spring.

"Unlike many of our peer banks, we have no legal entity in the EU outside of the UK, so we took a decision quite early on, about a year ago, that we would hope for the best, prepare for worst," Tracy Clarke, Standard Chartered's regional chief executive for Europe and the Americas said.

"So we're planning to set up an EU sub in Frankfurt and we've made that very public and we're very well advanced in that process."

Standard Chartered has so far booked the majority of its EU business out of London, but those practices are expected to change.

"We have submitted our licence application, we're expecting to hear in the spring," she said during a panel at a Brexit summit arranged by City & Financial Global.

"We've set up a supervisory board, and a management board and we're hiring, so we're pretty far advanced."

She said that while the banks wanted to look positive on Brexit impact, the financial services industry would suffer from losing some economy of scale, fragmentation of balance sheets, and higher costs that could impact clients.

However, Ms Clarke maintained that London would remain a resilient financial centre in "whatever scenario", with its ecosystem unlikely to be "rebuilt overnight" elsewhere.

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