(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is seeking to open a representative office in Geneva, two years after effectively exiting the city, as it expands in Switzerland, according to two people familiar with the bank’s intentions.
The New York-based lender’s plan to open again for client business was submitted to Swiss financial market supervisor Finma alongside an application last year to turn Goldman Sachs’s Zurich representative office into a branch, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans aren’t public. The bank hasn’t yet decided on staffing for the office or growth plans, with the Finma application a measure to remain flexible, another person said.
A Goldman spokesperson declined to comment, as did Finma.
Goldman Sachs was among foreign banks that left Geneva after the financial crisis. Since 2011, the local canton’s office-vacancy rate has more than tripled to almost 8 percent, according to consulting firm AMI International. The U.S. bank has been established in Zurich for more than 40 years, focusing on asset and wealth management as well as equities trading and M&A advisory.
Goldman employs around 100 people in Switzerland, mainly in private banking and securities trading. The bank is anticipating a rise in Switzerland of market-making services for clients as brokers will disappear due to MiFID II, according to one of the people.
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