Belfast Telegraph

Citigroup plans to move jobs from London to rival EU financial centre

US bank Citigroup plans to shift some jobs out of London to a rival European financial centre and will make a final decision on the location in the first half of the year.

James Cowles, Citigroup's chief executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said it was looking to set up a new broker-dealer outside the capital by establishing a new EU entity or by bulking up one of its existing locations within the European Union.

Speaking to the European Financial Forum in Dublin, he said the bank was evaluating the possibility of moving staff to either Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany or the Netherlands after speaking to government officials and regulators.

"We will be making a decision in the first half of this year, it's a decision that every bank has to make in the first six months of this year," he said.

"Our issue is with our broker-dealer, which is located in the UK, and will lose, presumably, passporting rights. So what we're doing now is looking across Europe and we're saying: Where do we want to establish a new broker-dealer?"

"We've reached out, we've talked to regulators and people at government across many countries in Europe, including Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands and we're in the process of evaluating each one of them."

The New York-based lender set up its European retail and commercial banking headquarters in Dublin last year. It employs around 2,500 staff in the Irish capital.

The cost of a "hard Brexit" to revenues in Britain's financial services sector has been estimated to be as high as £38 billion, with up to 75,000 jobs in the firing line.

This is on top of a £10 billion hit to the Treasury's tax revenue, according to a study commissioned by TheCityUK.