Bank to beat Brexit
Swiss bank UBS will merge its UK entity with its Frankfurt-based European HQ before the Brexit deadline of end-March 2019, moving some employees closer to clients and relocating a number of operations to the German financial centre.
“The nature of the UK's future relationship with the EU remains unclear,” says UBS. “Any future limitations on providing financial services into the EU from our UK operations could require us to make potentially significant changes to our operations in the UK and the EU, and to our legal structure.”
Talks over staff relocation will take place in the coming months, with the bank saying “the timing and extent of the actions we take may vary considerably depending on regulatory requirements and the nature of any transition or successor agreements with the EU”.
And even if the UK and the EU come up with a Brexit transition deal in the coming weeks, that’s unlikely to deliver the kind of legal certainty the banking sector would prefer.
“Looking at what a European Council meeting scheduled for March can actually provide, “it is not completely obvious how they would achieve it,” Catherine McGuinness, head of policy at the City of London, tells Reuters. “It also needs to be clear that it will survive any agreement – or even no agreement - that is struck in October about the ultimate trading relationship.”