Deutsche Bank AG envisions shifting almost half its U.K. positions to the European continent over coming years as the lender’s Brexit plans take shape, people briefed on the matter said.
Most of the 4,000 positions will move to Frankfurt and Berlin under the bank’s base case scenario, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal planning. Deutsche Bank will start relocating jobs next year at the earliest once it has dealt with regulatory approvals and other preparations, another person said. No plans have been finalized and numbers could still change depending on the U.K.’s talks with the European Union, the people said.
Banks, concerned by the lack of progress in Brexit talks and the potential for London to be shut out of the single market, are activating contingency plans and establishing hubs on the continent. Frankfurt and Dublin are getting the lion’s share of relocated banking jobs, with Germany’s financial center also set to attract banks including Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc.
Chief Regulatory Officer Sylvie Matherat had indicated in April that 4,000 jobs could be the maximum number at stake in the U.K. post Brexit, especially front-office staff dealing with EU clients and associated risk managers. The Frankfurt-based bank has about 7,000 people in London and approximately 8,500 across the U.K., according to last year’s annual report.
The bank is already preparing to move large parts of the trading and investment-banking assets its currently books in London to Frankfurt as part of its response to Brexit, with people familiar with the matter saying last month the lender will probably move about 300 billion euros ($354 billion) of balance sheet assets out of the U.K. capital.
Chief Executive Officer John Cryan told Bloomberg TV last week that “we genuinely don’t” know what the impact of Brexit will be on the lender’s presence in London. In many cases, Germany’s biggest bank would likely move jobs rather than employees, the people said.
In a sign that it’s not entirely turning its back on London, Deutsche Bank signed an agreement with Land Securities Group to move its U.K. headquarters to a building being constructed at 21 Moorfields in the City of London financial district, according to a filing Tuesday. The lender will lease at least 469,000 square feet (43,570 square meters) for 25 years if planning approval is secured.
Matherat, speaking at a conference in Frankfurt in April, said at the time that about 2,000 jobs would be affected if all of the bank’s client-facing staff had to move, and an additional 2,000 could be at risk in associated functions.