The triggering of Article 50 in the UK was seen as a watershed moment for many UK lenders, partly in that it would signal a seismic shift in operations and infrastructure. However, the development was also hypothesized as a moment when UK lenders and banks operating in the country would start to unveil their plan to relocate within the sphere of the EU.
Credit Suisse has for months mulled over its options on where to relocate to. The most likely landing spots to relocate a segment of its operations to have been Frankfurt, Dublin, or Amsterdam. The decision is no clearer today than it was months ago.
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The need to relocate was brought on by British PM, Theresa May, who extinguished any hope of lenders retaining passporting rights with the EU. With European lenders based out of the UK, the decision looks to be a challenging one as many contemplate setting up shop elsewhere in continental Europe.
Despite May seemingly forcing the hand of many lenders, neither Credit Suisse nor others have really outlined many plans in 2017 as to where they are looking to shift their focus. Rather, Credit Suisse has focused on shoring up its retention in the form of an expanded bonus program, even during a time when other rivals are gutting their payouts.
Still, Credit Suisse has continued to cut a sizable number of jobs, not even relegated to the London area, which has been the epicenter for layoffs over the past two years. Last month the lender jettisoned several equities roles in Hong Kong and Tokyo as well.
Unfortunately for industry rivals, shareholders, or others looking for cues, Credit Suisse has been remarkably silent as to its end game or strategy in 2017 and is no closer in making a formal decision. Its almost a foregone conclusion some segment or portion of its business will need to shift locales out of London, though there presently does not exist another city with the same caliber and benefits afforded by the UK capital.