LONDON — US banking giant Morgan Stanley is planning to move 300 jobs out of London as a result of the Brexit vote, and has already started looking for office space in a number of European cities, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The bank, which employs around 6,000 people in the United Kingdom, is said to be exploring office space in both Dublin and Frankfurt with the aim of creating a larger European Union hub.
It would initially move 300 people to the new enlarged base, Bloomberg reports, citing three people with knowledge the matter. No timeframe was given.
“Our focus is on ensuring that 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 many options, and we will adapt as the details of Brexit become clear. Given all of this, no decisions have yet been made.”
The bank declined to comment further when contacted by Business Insider.
Since Prime Minister Theresa May delivered her now famous speech signalling that Britain will leave the European Single Market, the chief executives of JP Morgan, HSBC, UBS all said they will likely move jobs out of London. Meanwhile there were also reports of Goldman Sachs preparing to shift staff out of the UK’s capital.
Only HSBC has so far given any concrete numbers in terms of staff being moved, with Chairman Douglas Flint saying the bank expects to move 1,000 jobs to Paris as a consequence of the Brexit vote.
Banks currently have the right to “passport” their financial licences in one EU market to another, preventing them having to go through the costly and complicated process of being regulated in each market where they operate.
13,500 companies use financial passporting in some form in relation to the UK with all types of businesses from newspapers to removals companies, all the way to a body that represents acupuncturists holding passports.
The financial passport’s status is strongly tied to Britain’s membership of the European Single Market, and as a result is expected to be lost as part of any Brexit deal. Some form of equivalence — where the EU would effectively acknowledge that the legal, regulatory and supervisory regime of the UK is as good as its own, and allow firms in the UK access to the EU’s financial services sector — has frequently been mentioned as a possibility, but no progress on such an agreement will occur until Brexit negotiations begin.