Deutsche Bank is planning a new London HQ despite Brexit

LONDON — Deutsche Bank is bucking the trend among international investment banks and committing to London despite the looming Brexit.

The German bank is in talks to move to a new headquarters near Moorgate in 2023. Sky News first reported that Deutsche Bank is in talks with property group Land Securities to take a 25-year-lease at 21 Moorfields, a new building currently under construction.

Sky News reports that Garth Ritchie, the bank’s UK chief executive and head of its corporate and investment bank, says in a memo posted on the bank’s intranet on Thursday that 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.”

The new Moorgate office, just a stone’s throw from the Bank of England, come on top of a relatively recent move for Deutsche Bank’s asset management and private wealth operations to another Land Securities building in Victoria. Deutsche Bank employs 9,000 people in the UK.

Land Securities said in a statement on Friday:

“Land Securities is… in discussions with Deutsche Bank regarding a pre-let for the development which would require alterations to the design of the building above ground. These negotiations will take several months and there is no guarantee they will lead to a transaction.”

Deutsche Bank’s commitment to London comes as rivals signal a Brexit-driven pull-back on the city. Both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have publicly said they will begin moving jobs and investment away from the city now that Prime Minister Theresa May has named a date to officially begin the Brexit process. Both JPMorgan and UBS have also warned job relocations are likely as a result of Brexit.

May has signalled that she will pursue a “clean break” from Europe, which will likely mean the UK will lose its passporting rights. Passporting allows banks to sell products and services across the EU Single Market from a UK base.

Cities across Europe are currently vying to attract financial services business that is fleeing Britain and Frankfurt, where Deutsche Bank is headquartered, is emerging as a popular relocation destination.

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