Bank of America Merrill Lynch is poised to move hundreds of London staff to Paris next week as it implements its Brexit plans.
The Standard understands about 200 London sales and support staff will start moving to the bank’s newly refurbished offices in the French capital from next Monday as the bank moves its European broker-dealer hub from London.
Although broker-dealing will be run out of new offices in Paris’s Rue La Boétie, BAML’s European headquarters will be run from Dublin, where 100 staff have already moved.
Like most investment banks with European headquarters in London, BAML has set its Brexit contingency planning for a no-deal exit.
BAML joins Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup and other major banks in moving of staff out of London, with little likelihood of their returning. One senior executive working on his bank’s Brexit preparations said: “Over the past decade, banks have been concentrating their European businesses in London, but that’s over. The political instability in the UK has shown us the dangers of putting all our eggs in one basket. We have passed Peak City.”
Most major banks by now have set up their legal entities in the EU, one banker said. “The government hopes to grow non-EU and Asian business through London, and that may happen. But the learnings of the last year are that you want some optionality.” This means billions of dollars leaving the UK. JPMorgan alone wants to shift €200 billion (£173 billion) of its balance sheet to Frankfurt, Financial News says.