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As Brexit talks near, banks look beyond London

More financial firms, fearful of losing easy access to customers on the continent, are considering moving key functions out of London as the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union.

HSBC Holdings could move around 1,000 staff from London to Paris over the next two years, chief executive Stuart Gulliver said during an earnings conference in late February. CEO Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase has said that as many as 3,000 to 4,000 staff from the U.S. bank’s London office could be transferred to the continent. Switzerland’s UBS has said the U.K.’s exit from the EU, or Brexit, could affect around 1,000 staff at its London operations.

All of these banks emphasize that they have made no final decisions on the matter. But all financial institutions in the City of London have made contact with European financial regulators and started hunting for office space, an executive at a U.S.-affiliated investment bank said.

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