Julius Baer launches British expansion as rivals begin plans to leave UK
Swiss bank Julius Baer has bucked the trend of financial firms shifting staff to the EU in the wake of Brexit by launching a large-scale expansion in Britain.
The private bank will open new offices in Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow, while also establishing a team in Belfast as it looks to tap private wealth held outside the capital.
Explaining its decision, Julius Baer highlighted that two-thirds of the UK's wealth is held by individuals outside London and the South East.
The group said it would target business owners, entrepreneurs and other wealthy individuals based in and around the four British cities.
Around 30 new roles will be created as a result of the expansion. That adds to the 200 people the bank already employs.
Yves Robert-Charrue, Europe head at Julius Baer, said: "The UK, with its deep pool of talent in financial services, is a strategic location for investment and growth.
"We are committed to building a strong business for the long term and serving clients across the whole country."
The expansion and comments are in stark contrast to the investment banking community, which has taken steps to shift staff out of the UK following its decision to quit the European Union.
Banking heavyweights including Standard Chartered, Japan's Daiwa and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), as well as Mizuho Securities, have disclosed plans to set up a shop in Frankfurt in hopes of securing EU client bases after Brexit.
Morgan Stanley is also understood to have chosen Frankfurt as the site of its post-Brexit hub.
Others including JP Morgan have indicated plans for a pan-European strategy, with proposals to spread staff across sites including Dublin, Luxembourg and Frankfurt.
Barclays, Legal & General and Bank of America have revealed plans to base EU-focused operations in Dublin, while Luxembourg has gained commitments from the likes of US giant AIG, Northern Trust and insurers RSA and Hiscox.