Morgan Stanley is scouting for office space in Frankfurt and Dublin for an enlarged EU hub following the UK’s vote to leave the political bloc, according to sources. The bank may initially move about 300 workers to one of the cities.
“Our focus is on ensuring we can continue to service our clients whatever the Brexit outcome,” Hugh Fraser, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley, said. “Our strong franchise and material presence in Europe gives us options, and we will adapt as the details of Brexit become clear. Given all of this, no decisions have yet been made.”
International banks have begun looking to move jobs out of the UK after prime minister Theresa May said she plans to pull Britain out of the single market. Global banks in London may have to shift €1.8 trillion of assets to the continent after Brexit is completed, putting as many as 30,000 UK jobs at risk, according to Brussels-based research group Bruegel. Before the vote, Bloomberg News reported that Morgan Stanley would likely move 1,000 of about 6,000 UK employees out of Britain in the event of Brexit.
Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher said the firm would likely move its local headquarters to either Dublin or Frankfurt. Bank executives said after the referendum New York would likely be the big winner from Brexit as US firms would probably allocate headcount away from Europe altogether. Germany’s financial regulator offered to allow most banks that move operations there to keep current models for setting capital requirements for as long as two years.
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