Deutsche Bank Sees Brexit Moves in Hundreds, Not Thousands

(Bloomberg) -- A Deutsche Bank AG executive gave more detail on how “hundreds” of London employees will relocate to Frankfurt and other cities as Germany’s largest lender moves fewer staff on Brexit than some initial estimates had suggested.

The personnel to be moved from London “won’t be thousands, but hundreds,” Stefan Hoops, head of the bank’s capital markets division in Germany, said at a press briefing on Wednesday in Germany’s financial capital. Some of the affected employees “can go to the country that corresponds to their preference or clients,” not just Frankfurt, he said.

London will remain Deutsche Bank’s trading hub, and most traders will continue to be based there, even over a long time horizon, Hoops said. The ultimate number of moves remains unclear, as the process will play out over a long period of time and depend on market developments, Hoops said.

His comments are in line with an interview Chief Executive Officer John Cryan gave last week, telling Neue Zuercher Zeitung that estimates of 4,000 Brexit relocations were “far too high.” Last year, Chief Compliance Officer Sylvie Matherat had cited that figure as the potential number of U.K. Deutsche Bank jobs at risk.

BOE Guidance

Hoops also said Deutsche Bank had been “relaxed” by the Bank of England’s guidance last month on European firms that offer wholesale finance. The central bank aims to let the lenders operate under existing rules, without creating subsidiaries.

Deutsche Bank has repeatedly said that Frankfurt will receive the lion’s share of jobs to be relocated or created on the back of Brexit, but Hoops said that staff facing clients in other parts of the EU may have the option of moving to other offices. He listed Deutsche Bank’s offices in Milan, Paris and Madrid as potential examples.

Since Matherat’s estimate, the U.K. and the EU have struck a deal to unlock divorce negotiations after months of stalemate, stoking speculation that Brexit will be softer than some had anticipated. Cryan told NZZ in a Jan. 12 report that the lender will “initially” only create several hundred new jobs in Frankfurt and elsewhere.

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