business

Citigroup May Hire 150 Staff in EU

  • Lender’s presence in other European cities to grow over time
  • Banks are preparing for loss of access to the single market

Why More Banks Are Moving to Frankfurt

Citigroup Inc. said it may hire 150 new staff in the European Union as the Wall Street bank bolsters Frankfurt as its newest trading hub after Brexit.

“In certain circumstances, we may need to create approximately 150 new roles located in the EU,” Jim Cowles, head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Citigroup, said in a memo to staff Thursday. Assuming the loss of passporting rights from the U.K. to the trading bloc, “Frankfurt is our first choice for headquartering our EU broker-dealer,” he said. London will remain the bank’s EMEA headquarters.

Frankfurt, currently home to about 350 Citigroup employees, has emerged as a winner from the Brexit vote, with Standard Chartered Plc, Nomura Holdings Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Daiwa Securities Group Inc. picking the city as their EU hub in recent weeks. Citigroup was said to have selected Frankfurt earlier this week, with as many as 250 new roles eventually planned to go to the German city.

Germany’s BaFin is seen by many as the only regulator outside of London capable of handling the banks’ complicated derivatives business.

Other Cities

Citigroup’s presence in Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Luxembourg is also likely to grow over time, Cowles said in the memo. In January, he said the firm was evaluating locations in Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

It’s yet to be decided if the new Frankfurt jobs will be filled by moving existing employees or by hiring locally, a person with knowledge of the matter said this week.

Even as the chance remains for a U.K. deal maintaining some sort of access to the single market, banks are preparing for the worst and want to have new or expanded offices up and running inside the bloc before Britain formally departs in 2019.

— With assistance by Dakin Campbell

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