HSBC, UBS to shift 1,000 jobs each from UK in Brexit blow to London

Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:25pm EST
 
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By Pamela Barbaglia

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Two of Europe's biggest banks warned on Wednesday that they could each move about 1,000 jobs out of London as they prepare for expected disruption caused by Britain's exit from the European Union.

UBS Chairman Axel Weber said that about 1,000 of the Swiss bank's 5,000 employees in London could be affected by Brexit, while HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said his bank will relocate staff responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading revenue to Paris.

Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper also reported that Goldman Sachs is considering halving its London workforce to 3,000 and moving key operations to New York and continental Europe, particularly Frankfurt, where it could move up to 1,000 staff.

A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman in Frankfurt said the bank does not recognize the numbers in the Handelsblatt report and that it has yet to make a decision on the matter.

Leading financial firms warned for months before Britain's June referendum on European Union membership that they would move jobs out of the country if there was a vote to leave but have set out few details since on how many will go or where to.

"We will move in about two years time when Brexit becomes effective," HSBC's Gulliver told Reuters at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

And in another potentially damaging blow to London's status as Europe's main financial center, UBS's Weber told the BBC in Davos that 1,000 staff working in businesses that would be hit by Britain losing its 'passport' to sell financial services in Europe would be affected.

Other banks are expected to announce more concrete plans for how they will adapt to Brexit in the coming months after Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed in a speech on Tuesday that Britain would leave the European single market.   Continued...

 
The moon rises over the HSBC building in the Canary Wharf financial district of London, Britain November 13, 2016.   REUTERS/Hannah McKay