Between 150 and 200 client-facing roles in sales and trading could be relocated from the UK to the Frankfurt office. It’s yet to be decided if the jobs will be filled by moving existing employees or by hiring locally.
The bulked up Frankfurt office will become a broker-dealer entity, allowing the US bank to continue serving EU clients after Britain leaves the bloc.
However, the move will not impact the location of its European headquarters, which will remain in London. Citi currently employs around 9,000 staff in the UK, 6,000 of which are based in the City, so the overall impact to UK employees is on the smaller side.
The announcement will be the culmination of months of planning, with the bank's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) leader James Cowles having told staff in an internal memo earlier this year that it was looking at moving some front office staff out of the UK.
Mr Cowles said in the memo that the bank had been preparing for Brexit since before the referendum last June, and that decisions were being made on the assumption of a hard Brexit, in which the UK loses access to the single market for financial services.
Frankfurt is appearing to be the top pick as an EU base for Asian banks but Dublin was previously leading the charge for City banks. Perhaps other Western banks will follow suit once Citigroup makes its formal announcement.
Frankfurt itself does boast many inherent advantages, namely its geo-strategic location in the bloc and talented labour pool. Frankfurt has also opened up to prospective lenders, offering to relax rigid labour laws and give banks more flexibility to make people redundant.
Be sure to read more on the best neighbourhoods to move to, options for international schools and local culture in Saunders 1865’s free Moving to Frankfurt guide.
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