Belfast Telegraph

Deutsche Bank chooses site for new UK post-Brexit headquarters

Deutsche Bank has pinpointed a site for a new UK headquarters, boosting the City of London's status as a global financial hub following the Brexit vote.

The German banking giant has entered exclusive negotiations with Land Securities on a new building currently being constructed in the City at 21 Moorfields.

The lender plans to take it on a 25-year lease and has told staff they will start being transferred during the second half of 2023.

The move, which is subject to planning consent and a lease being agreed, will provide a "sustainable location for the corporate and investment bank", Deutsche Bank said.

In an internal memo, Garth Ritchie, the bank's UK chief executive, said: "The move underlines the bank's commitment to the City of London and the importance it attaches to being an employer of choice in the capital.

"It will advance the bank's strategic goals of increasing efficiency, reducing complexity and strengthening links between the business divisions and infrastructure functions."

It comes after Deutsche Bank announced on Monday that it had cut its bonus pot by 77% following a difficult year.

The troubled lender has been stung with a series of high-profile fines in recent months, including a 7.2 billion US dollar (£5.8 billion) settlement with American authorities following a probe into its sale of mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis.

It was also fined more than £500 million in January after British and US regulators found that failings at the German lender led to 10 billion US dollars (£7.9 billion) being laundered out of Russia in a manner ''highly suggestive of financial crime''.

However, the bank's commitment to London will bring some comfort to politicians and business leaders who are concerned that the Square Miles' reputation as a global financial centre will be diminished following Brexit.

Financial firms with headquarters in the City are looking to shift jobs to finance hubs on the continent amid fears they will lose crucial EU trading rights once Article 50 is triggered next week.

Passporting rights allow banks to trade freely across the EU, but Britain looks set to lose access unless it agrees an equivalent regime when it exits the European single market.

HSBC is on course to move 1,000 jobs from its London office to France where it already has a full service universal bank, while Barclays is considering bulking up its Dublin offices, which hosts about 100 staff.

Others like JP Morgan have yet to settle on a location, though its chief executive Jamie Dimon has said that around 4,000 of its 16,000 UK staff could be shifted out of Britain, depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

UBS has also said it could move up to 1,500 of its London staff to the continent.