Goldman Sachs, which employs around 5,500 UK staff, has said that the recent Brexit decision “may adversely affect the manner in which we operate certain of our businesses in the European Union and could require us to restructure certain of our operations.”
According to the Financial Times, it is one of the clearest signs from a major Wall Street bank that is reportedly preparing specific measures following the landmark vote.
Although no details have been released on what form the restructuring may take, or at what stage of planning at the bank is, its US regulatory filing is said to be more specific than that of Morgan Stanley, which has acknowledged that it will “continue to evaluate various courses of action”.
Prior to the EU referendum, Morgan Stanley warned that 1,000 of its London jobs could be relocated in the event of a vote to leave.
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Indeed, most banks have been working on the assumption that the Brexit means that their London operations will lose their EU passports, forcing them to set up new subsidiaries in member countries that would carry out trading and other regulated activities between the banks and their European clients.
In the run-up to the UK vote in June, banks including JPMorgan and HSBC suggested that the Brexit could result in the loss or relocation of thousands of EU jobs.
Goldman Sachs has stressed that “the timing and the outcome” of these negotiations are “both highly uncertain”. Like many other banks, it is unlikely to start making concrete plans for the future until there is clarification on the political situation.
A senior banker at another Wall Street bank said his bank could still serve UK and European clients “regardless of what happens.”
“We could execute solutions on the continent, we could execute in the UK,” adding that his unit has “not rejigged any headcount” yet.