Canaccord to Cut London Jobs as Brexit Hurts Capital Markets

(Bloomberg) -- Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., Canada’s largest non-bank brokerage, is cutting jobs in London and reorganizing its U.K. capital markets business as political and market uncertainty there has resulted in “unacceptable returns.”

The capital markets staff in London will face a “significant reduction” and Canaccord will take a C$12 million ($9 million) charge for the fiscal fourth quarter ending March 31, the Toronto-based firm said Sunday in a statement. The company, which had 192 employees in U.K. capital markets as of Dec. 31, didn’t specify how many of them will lose their jobs.

Canaccord shares rose 2.2 percent to C$5.97 at 10:22 a.m. in Toronto.

Britain may be heading toward its third election in four years as Parliament struggles to resolve the protracted impasse over Brexit, and Canaccord has joined other financial firms in retrenching amid the turmoil. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is pushing about 300 London-based investment-banking staff to sign fresh contracts confirming they’ll leave the U.K. in the event of a no-deal Brexit, people familiar with the matter said last week. In February, Bank of America Corp. began moving about 400 staff to its expanded European operations.

Canaccord said the move won’t affect wealth-management operations.

“The plan we have announced today will allow us to redeploy excess capital from our U.K. capital markets business,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Daviau said in the statement. “We remain deeply committed to growing our wealth management business in the U.K. and Europe.”

The U.S. and Canada account for most of Canaccord’s capital markets business. The firm has been losing money in the U.K., which contributed to adjusted losses of C$7.75 million for the U.K., Europe and Dubai capital markets division for the nine months through Dec. 31, up from a C$2.77 million loss a year earlier.

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