Goldman Sachs to expand EU presence ahead of Brexit

Goldman Sachs London office Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Goldman Sachs' European headquarters is currently in London

Goldman Sachs will move jobs away from London and bulk up its European presence by "hundreds of people", a senior executive has said.

The US bank's European chief executive, Richard Gnodde, said it would begin the process before the UK leaves the European Union.

He indicated the bank would bolster its presence in other European cities over the next 18 months.

Other London banks have already said they would move jobs after Brexit.

It was confirmed on Monday that Prime Minister Theresa May will officially notify the EU next Wednesday that the UK is leaving.

If all goes according to the two-year negotiations allowed for in the official timetable, Brexit should happen in March 2019.

Financial hub

But Mr Gnodde told CNBC that Goldman Sachs would not wait until the end of the Brexit talks to "execute on its contingency plans".

He said the bank would both "hire people inside of Europe itself" and have "some movement" from the UK.

"This is in the hundreds of people as opposed to anything greater than that," he added.

The company, which is in the process of building a new office in London, would not comment on whether that would result in a net reduction of workers in the UK.

In February, Goldman confirmed it was closing a London hedge fund office and moving staff to the US, but denied it had anything to do with Brexit.

Another senior executive at the bank said last week that London would remain a significant financial hub after Brexit.

The City of London has a "long history" as a financial centre, which will be difficult for European cities like Frankfurt to challenge, Andrew Wilson, the regional boss of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told the BBC.

Earlier this year, HSBC and UBS confirmed that some staff would definitely have to move abroad when the UK left the EU.

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