Exclusive: Goldman Sachs considers Frankfurt move over Brexit - sources

Wed Nov 9, 2016 12:58pm EST
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By Alexander Hübner, John O'Donnell and Olivia Oran

FRANKFURT/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs is considering shifting some of its assets and operations from London to Frankfurt, three people familiar with the matter said, as it tries to secure access to the European Union market when Britain leaves the bloc.

The U.S. investment bank is examining the step as a way to qualify for supervision by the European Central Bank, putting some of its operations under the watch of the euro zone's main banking supervisor.

Coming under the ECB's jurisdiction should allow it to continue selling its services to clients across the euro zone and wider EU post-Brexit, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.

However, this is uncharted legal territory and the sources said Goldman had not yet taken any decision on the matter.

"Moving under ECB supervision in Frankfurt is one of the options the bank is considering," one of the people said. Another said Goldman had held talks about such a step with ECB officials in Frankfurt.

The plans being examined would shift Goldman's European presence toward the center of the euro zone, representing a blow to London's status as a global financial center - and a coup for Frankfurt, a small city that is Germany's own finance capital.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs said there were "numerous uncertainties" about the outcome of Brexit negotiations. "We continue to work through all possible implications of the Brexit vote," he said. "We have not taken any decisions as to what our eventual response will be."

An ECB spokesman declined to comment.   Continued...

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo