ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, and U.K. insurer RSA Insurance Group Plc are seeking new office space in the City of London financial district.
ING is looking for 150,000 to 175,000 square feet (16,300 square meters), said Adrian Simpson, a spokesman for the Amsterdam-based company’s commercial-banking division. ING’s U.K. base is at 60 London Wall, near Liverpool Street station.
“We have a few years to go on the lease here, so it makes sense to look around,” he said. He declined to say when the lease will expire.
Developers are asking companies to sign leases for buildings before they’re completed because it makes it easier to get financing as the faltering economic recovery is threatening the U.K. commercial real-estate market’s rebound from a slump two years ago. Financing remains a challenge, according to a survey of 70 contractors published Sept. 23 by real-estate adviser Davis Langdon.
RSA’s contract on Leadenhall Court ends in 2014, spokesman Martin Cairns said, without specifying how much space the company is looking for.
“Naturally, we’re looking at different options, but no decision has yet been made,” Cairns said.
British Land Co., the second-largest U.K. real-estate investment trust, told analysts last week that RSA may seek 125,000 square feet.
JPMorgan Cazenove said in a research note last week that it expects rents in the City to rise slowly before declining in 2014 as a result of increased supply.