Morgan Stanley has chosen Frankfurt as its new EU headquarters following the UK’s exit from the bloc, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The bank plans to transfer nearly 200 people to Frankfurt from the British capital after gaining regulatory approval and office space.
The decision by Morgan Stanley comes just days after Citigroup moved forward with its plans to relocate its EU base of operations post-Brexit, choosing Frankfurt too. In addition, Standard Chartered, Nomura, Sumitomo Mitsui and Daiwa Securities have already said that they will move jobs away from London to deal with the Brexit issue.
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The German city, home to the European Central Bank, has emerged as one of the favored destinations for many global financial institutions.
The moves by Morgan Stanley and other global firms come despite the Conservative party’s loss of a majority in June’s snap elections, which made it more likely that Theresa May will seek a softer Brexit deal that could reduce the impact on the UK’s financial services industry.
Morgan Stanley has been considering the move for months. However, Frankfurt wasn’t the only financial hub in the sights of the US banking giant, as the firm was evaluating other locations too, including in France and Ireland.
Sources inside the bank told the Guardian: “Come 2019, we might not be able to service [EU] business out of London. To do that we need a European hub, a regulated entity with capital and risk management. We need to establish a second main hub to London in Europe.”