August 2, 2018 / 2:03 PM / 3 months ago

Credit Suisse picks Luxembourg, Madrid, Frankfurt as post-Brexit hubs

Chairman Urs Rohner of Swiss bank Credit Suisse attends the bank's annual shareholder meeting in Zurich, Switzerland April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) will likely move around 50 investment bankers to Germany, 50 to Madrid, and up to 150 more to other European Union hubs including Luxembourg in the event of a hard exit by Britain from the bloc, sources close to the matter said.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank has so far declined to put a figure on the number of bankers it plans to move out of London from its headcount there of roughly 5,500, saying discussions continue, but it has named Frankfurt, Madrid and Luxembourg as post-Brexit hubs.

“Credit Suisse is working to maintain access to EU clients and markets by leveraging our existing infrastructure in the event of a Hard Brexit,” a spokesman for the bank said on Thursday, referring to a disorderly or no-deal exit.

“Discussions with relevant regulators, employees and key stakeholders remain ongoing, but our solution will involve multiple locations, including Madrid, Frankfurt and Luxembourg.”

Credit Suisse this week also disclosed plans to increase investment banking assets in Frankfurt.

In its quarterly report the lender said after “planning relating to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU”, it had approved moving around $200 million (£153.14 million) worth of assets to its investment banking and capital markets division in Germany.

With an October crunch point in talks on the future trading relationship between Britain and the EU, banks are pushing ahead with opening or expanding hubs in the EU to avoid disruption to customer services if Britain leaves the bloc next March with no transition deal.

The Swiss bank is in the process of notifying London-based staff about the moves that will affect its main divisions, namely investment banking, wealth management and asset management, a source said this week.

London will remain a key part of the bank’s footprint even after Brexit, it said.

Reporting by Angelika Gruber, Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Michael Shields; Editing by Adrian Croft and Alexandra Hudson

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