London banks braced for no-deal Brexit

Bankers in London are awaiting the fallout that Brexit may bring, but have largely already factored in the worries of a no-deal in their planning.

The banks have been moving significant numbers of jobs and offices out of London for years, although there is little evidence of the exodus that some were expecting.

“We’ve been working since the referendum in 2016 to prepare the financial system for a range of possible outcomes, but obviously focusing particularly on what we call the no-deal exit, because that has the most implications,” Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said on Friday.

The central bank has found that most risks to the UK’s financial stability from no deal had already been mitigated, but still said there could be “some disruption to financial services”.

But a massive exodus of jobs from the start of January is not widely expected.

“The numbers that are quoted today are nothing like the sorts of numbers that were quoted immediately after the referendum,” Mr Bailey said.

Many of the companies that have decided to move staff from London to Frankfurt, Paris and other European cities, have largely already done so.

Bank of America already completed the move of its international arm to Dublin two years ago. Around 125 jobs were reported by Reuters to be part of the move, though more may follow.

Barclays has estimated its Brexit bill will be about £200 million and it will move 150 to 200 jobs from the UK. UBS projected costs of about 100 million to 200 million dollars (£76 million to £152 million), the Financial Times reported in 2019.

Another American bank, JPMorgan Chase, moved around 200 billion euros (£184 billion) of assets from London to Frankfurt.

It has also told about 200 staff in London to expect their jobs to move out of the country, while BNP Paribas plans to create 400 jobs in Europe because of Brexit.

Citi said in 2017 it would move about 63 jobs out of London, Credit Suisse reportedly has plans to move 250 jobs, Deutsche Bank initially warned that about 4,000 jobs might be hit in the UK, but those predictions do not have seem to come to pass. Last year Reuters reported that the bank was planning about 250 job moves.

It has also been reported that Goldman Sachs will move around 100 jobs. HSBC has only moved a handful, Morgan Stanley was reported to be switching about 200 to Frankfurt, and NatWest Group moved about 100 from Britain to Amsterdam.

In August, Andreas Gunther, a recruiter in Germany’s financial centre Frankfurt, told careers site eFinancial: “Far fewer jobs have moved than people were hoping for.

“It seems that banks may still be waiting or that some jobs have moved to Paris and other European cities instead. In Frankfurt the job market for traders is pretty quiet right now, although we think that more jobs will move in time.”

Earlier this year German bank Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen Girozentrale said it expects Brexit to create around 8,000 jobs in Frankfurt in the long run, across all banks.

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