JPMorgan Scouts Dublin, Frankfurt for Post-Brexit EU Hub

  • Lender is seeking flexibility from landlords on space size
  • JPMorgan already has subsidiary units in Ireland and Germany

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is scouting for office space in Dublin and Frankfurt that may be used as an enlarged European Union hub following the U.K.’s vote to leave the bloc, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The lender may lease 50,000 square feet (4,645 square meters) to 150,000 square feet of space and wants flexibility from landlords to shrink or expand depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, some of the people said, asking not to be named because the plans aren’t public. That amount of space would be enough for several hundred employees.

"Other options are still very much on the table," the bank said in a statement. "We want to see how negotiations progress. No final decisions have been made."

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to pull Britain out of the single market has prompted international banks to begin looking to move jobs to the continent. London could lose 10,000 banking jobs and 20,000 roles in financial services as clients move 1.8 trillion euros ($1.9 trillion) of assets to the continent after Brexit is completed, according to think tank Bruegel. Other estimates range from as much as 232,000 jobs to as few as 4,000.

Before the June 23 referendum Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon told U.K. staff that as many as 4,000 of them could be relocated in the event of Brexit. In January, he said that number could be even higher -- or lower -- depending on how the government’s negotiations played out.

Frankfurt and Dublin are emerging as the favored destinations for banks preparing to flee London after Brexit. Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Plc are considering the Irish capital for their EU base while Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Morgan Stanley are weighing Frankfurt.

JPMorgan already has subsidiary units in Ireland and Germany with broker/dealer licenses.

— With assistance by Nicholas Comfort, and Steven Arons

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