According to a Bloomberg report, following Brexit, some of London-based equity and interest-rate derivatives traders of Citigroup Inc. (C - Free Report) might be moved to Frankfurt. However, depending on negotiations between the U.K. and the European Union (EU), the plan might take a turnaround.
Several U.S. and Asian banks have their base in the U.K. that accommodates over 250 foreign banks for European operations. The country provides them an automatic passport to conduct business throughout all the 28 countries in the EU.
Brexit might lead to the termination of the passporting rights to the U.K. Therefore, with a majority of European employees in London, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) and Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) are planning to move their staff from London.
Possible locations considered by the U.S.-based banks to move their staff include Frankfurt, Ireland and Paris.
Per the report, Citigroup is in talks with the German financial regulator – BaFin to get regulatory approvals for moving the operations. Further, the U.S. lender has planned to move operations to the EU before the negotiation period ends. Therefore, the bank is in discussions with the European Central Bank and regulators in EU nations to transfer certain businesses.
“We are evaluating our options as negotiations between the EU and U.K. continue,” Edwina Frawley-Gangahar, a Citigroup spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement. “Considerable uncertainty remains over the nature of the U.K.’s eventual exit from the EU, and therefore we have not taken any decisions at this point. London is, and will remain, our EMEA headquarters and a global hub for many of our businesses,” she added.
However, spokesmen for BaFin and the European Central Bank refrained from commenting.
Since the financial crisis, Citigroup’s business has been adversely affected because of pressure from regulators and market forces. The bank has cut a number of jobs and branches since 2012, when Corbat became the CEO. The recent move will provide some relief to the investors.
Citigroup currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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