Banks Moving to Frankfurt to Create 5,000 Jobs, Lobby Group Says

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(Bloomberg) -- About 20 banks have decided to expand their presence in Frankfurt in preparation for Brexit, according to a lobby group.

This doesn’t mean the German city will take over from London as the European Union’s financial capital, Stefan Winter, chairman of the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany, said at a press conference on Wednesday. Rather, banks will spread their operations more throughout the bloc once Britain has left, he said.

The old approach of doing “everything from a hub like London is over, at least for now,” Winter, who is also a UBS Group AG executive, said in Frankfurt. “Instead, several different locations will be strengthened.”

It’s mostly U.S. and Japanese banks that have said they’ll expand in Frankfurt, and they will add as many as 5,000 jobs in the city over the next couple of years, Winter said. About half of the lenders will need a new banking license, he said.

Banks are having to rethink their geographical set-up post-Brexit now that an extension of the passporting rights that allow firms based in Britain to operate throughout the EU is off the table. Lenders including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have individually announced their intention to increase their presence on the continent, with Frankfurt emerging as a key destination for new banking jobs.

Bloomberg already reported that UBS plans to spread its client-facing staff across various European cities rather than move them all to a new centralized hub.

Each of the roughly 20 banks expanding in Frankfurt will add between 200 and 300 positions in the city, with many of the jobs to be filled locally rather than by moving people from London, Winter said. He added this would be especially true for back-office functions.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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