Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Credit Suisse Said to Consider London Office Space Cuts

Credit Suisse Group AG is planning to sublease space in London’s Canary Wharf financial district after cutting staff and squeezing costs, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.

The bank will offer about 145,000 square feet (13,470 square meters) at its 1 Cabot Square office to potential tenants, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plan is private. The 546,000 square-foot building is equivalent in size to the London skyscraper known as the Gherkin. A spokeswoman for the bank declined to comment.

Credit Suisse launched a cost-cutting program in October 2015 which will result in the elimination of 4,200 London jobs by the end of next year out of 9,200 employees at the start of the cuts. The savings in the U.K. capital should total about 350 million Swiss francs ($345 million), Chief Financial Officer David Mathers said last week. Credit Suisse may seek to sublease space in other buildings in the east London financial district, including one at Columbus Courtyard, as it seeks to cut its rental bills, the people said.

Several banks offered excess space to rent in Canary Wharf even before the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, which may cause them to move staff overseas. Barclays Plc cut about 540,000 square feet of space, which will save about 35 million pounds ($44 million) per year, the bank said in a Dec. 6 statement. Citigroup Inc is weighing subleasing about 300,000 square feet, people said in October.

Credit Suisse leased space in the district to Thomson Reuters in March, a spokesman for the media company said at the time. Most of that space was previously subleased to Bank of America Corp.

The Cabot Square building is owned by the Qatar Investment Authority which was said to be considering abandoning a plan to sell the building in June.

The Swiss lender is meanwhile making changes in the U.S. which will “also include the consolidation of real estate,” CFO Mathers said.

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