Mizuho Securities plans Frankfurt subsidiary to secure EU client base
Japanese investment bank Mizuho Securities has disclosed plans to set up a subsidiary in Frankfurt in hopes of securing its EU client base after Brexit.
The announcement comes as a surprise given that the bank was widely expected to base its EU business in its Amsterdam office, which it strengthened following a reorganisation of its European operations last July.
Mizuho Securities said it is now applying for a licence that will allow it to continue serving EU clients through a new subsidiary in the German city, given that the UK is expected to scrap membership in the single market for financial services after Brexit.
"We will proceed with the application for establishing a new subsidiary in Frankfurt that will lead securities operations in the EU countries.
"We will thereby establish a framework to maintain the quality of service for our EU customers around the world even after Brexit, which is expected in 2019," the bank said in a press release on Monday.
It explained: "The decision was made in the process of assessing the impact of Brexit - UK's withdrawal from the European Union (EU), and against the background of continuing the effort to develop our network for servicing customers in Europe and around the world in a sustainable and reliable manner."
It marks another win for Frankfurt, which has secured commitments from a number of international banks including Standard Chartered since the referendum last year.
Citigroup also notified its bankers of plans to bolster its Frankfurt office last week, while the Press Association understands Morgan Stanley is on track to make similar moves.
Mizuho will join a raft of Japanese banks who have chosen the German financial centre as an EU hub, including Daiwa, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Nomura.
Hubertus Vath, managing director of city lobby group Frankfurt Main Finance, said: "Now, four of the five leading Japanese banks and securities corporations have chosen Frankfurt for their European hubs after an extensive and thorough due diligence process.
"We look forward to supporting them in establishing their operations in any way possible."
He added: "We are one step closer to our ambitious objective of having twenty banks placing their trust in the Financial Centre Frankfurt this year.
"The past weeks should alleviate any doubts concerning Frankfurt's attractiveness to the world's major investment banks."