Goldman Sachs has finally decided to split it European business between Frankfurt and Paris as the bank has retracted from identifying any one single European city as its headquarters for its post-Brexit EU home.
For all of the business that it would no longer be able to conduct rom London after March 2019, the German and French cities would combine to form its main centres to do so, Lloyd Blankfein said.
Saying the Americans who are employed with the bank in London would have the option of choosing Paris ahead of Frankfurt, Blankfein also indicated that the staff had the option of choosing where to relocate. Blankfein said these in a number of pointed tweets related to Brexit.
Activities that once took place from London by the bank were being forced to be decentralized due to Brexit, Blankfein said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. “But we won’t have a single hub, but two – Frankfurt and Paris … In the end, it’s the people who will largely decide where they prefer to live,” he said.
“We will have more employees on the continent. Some, if they want to, would come from London; we will hire others,” he added. “And I can imagine that many Americans would prefer living in Paris than Frankfurt for various reasons.”
Banks, insurers and fund managers are being warned by regulators about implementing the Brexit contingency plans seen unless a transition plan exists and the remarks of Blankfein came amidst such an environment.
Goldman is in the process of constructing a new European headquarters just off Fleet Street for £350 million and the 6,000 people are employed by it in the UK capital. However, the number of employees who would be relocated to new location, just after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, has not been made clear by the bank. The new Frankfurt tower block has the capacity to host up to 1,000 staff and eight floors have been leased out by the bank there.
The “positive energy” in Paris had struck a positive chord in him, Blankfein had told his 70,000 Twitter followers last week ad had added: “And the food’s good too!” There are expectations that about 10,000 jobs would be available for Paris from London’s financial services industry.
A month earlier he had tweeted as he left Frankfurt: “Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I’ll be spending a lot more time there.” Preparing for the children of the bankers to arrive, extra classrooms are being constructed at international schools in Frankfurt.
He had also posted an aerial shot of the new London building with the words “Expecting/hoping to fill it up, but so much outside our control” and warned that there was threat of jobs kin London. He had also earlier used tweeter to call for a second referendum on Brexit.
There is very little time left to make Brexit plans, Blankfein also told Le Figaro. “Everyone needs a script, and fast,” he said.
“My message to all affected banks is this: don’t procrastinate. No one will wait for you. When Brexit happens you will either be prepared, or not. I advise you to be prepared,” said ECB official Sabine Lautenschlanger in a speech in Frankfurt.
(Adapted from The Guardian)