Overseas firms back City by signing for new offices

Deutsche bank have confirmed they are taking a 25 year lease on at least 469.000 square feet of the new 21 Moorfields building in the City. They were one of the banks saying they were very negative about Brexit.

Ion Pacific, a Honk Kong financial group, have just chosen London as the place for their European headquarters.

Have the gloomy pundits of Remain any explanations for this good news?

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28 Comments

  1. hans chr iversen
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    yes, but Deutsche Bank have also made clear that they have provisional planning to transferring 4000 staff to Frankfurt at very short notice

  2. Duncan
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    The worry for me is that Deutsche Bank may have been given assurances by certain persons within the UK govt (Hammond and May) that the UK will ‘somehow or other’ remain part of the EU which may explain DB’s decision to commit

    Is this a possibility or am I reading to much into this news? It’s that such a volte face in DB’s stance sets alarm bells ringing.

    I still believe we will be betrayed on Brexit by those within the UK govt who refuse to embrace the democratic will of the British people

  3. Time Lord
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    We need Deutsche bank to pay in advance. 25 years. It is a long time for Germany

  4. Anonymous
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Blair continues to hold and invest in London too.

  5. Ed Mahony
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    ‘Deutsche bank have confirmed they are taking a 25 year lease on at least 469.000 square feet of the new 21 Moorfields building in the City’

    – Firstly, they’re losing office space elsewhere in London because the move is designed to bring people together.
    – Secondly, no-one ever said Deutsche bank were leaving London!
    – Thirdy, ‘Deutsche Bank Expects to Move 4,000 Jobs to EU After Brexit’ – Bloomberg, 1 August 2017.

    Lastly, Sylvie Matherat, head of regulation at Deutsche Bank, said that the large-scale moves from London to the EU would only happen if the UK crashed out of the EU in a ‘hard Brexit.’

    ‘Have the gloomy pundits of Remain any explanations for this good news?’ – So this is what Deutsche bank is saying not pundits, whether Remain, gloomy or otherwise.

    • Nig l
      Posted August 2, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      What, a 25 year lease is just a bit of tidying up. Pleeeeze. And what about Ion Pacific?

      Reply Absurd reply

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Let’s check the facts.

        The Financial Times writes: ‘The new site will enable it to bring together frontline and support staff from several London locations, the bank said’

        – Either the Financial Times or Deutsche bank bank are lying / got their facts wrong!

        By ignoring the facts, and not being objective, we’re relying on a wing and a prayer. You can’t re-jig the economy of a country like ours on that. You have to face all the facts, and then bring them together within a coherent strategy, under strong leadership.

        This is basic stuff. It’s not rocket science. But seems to me that the country’s been taken over by blind passion – on both sides of the argument. Until someone provides evidence / strong argument to the contrary, i still think that remaining in the EU WHILST (just as importantly) working hard-hard-hard to reform it (for our benefit and Europe’s) is the only real way forward, and, in fact, could have exciting results for the UK.

        I’m ambitious for my country. I love the UK. But that ambition has to be rooted in objectivity, not just a subjective love for one’s country, otherwise you will pay a price, at some point in the future, for the indulgence of blind patriotism (just check the history books if you don’t believe me).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          ‘The Financial Times writes: ‘The new site will enable it to bring together frontline and support staff from several London locations, the bank said’

          – Either the Financial Times or Deutsche bank bank are lying / got their facts wrong!’

          – Not forgetting, of course, Deutsche bank themselves have said that Hard Brexit will lead to the large-scale loss of jobs in the UK.

          (Sylvie Matherat, head of regulation at Deutsche Bank, said that the large-scale moves from London to the EU would only happen if the UK crashed out of the EU in a ‘hard Brexit).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        ‘Ion Pacific?’

        – I’m not an expert on this, but from the little i know, Ion Pacific’s presence in London will be relatively small (granted, it could rise over time). More importantly, Ion Pacific just represents a trend of Hong Kong / Chinese banks who will always favour being in London whether the UK is in the EU or not. No serious commentators deny this or that London won’t continue to be an important centre for banking in the future.

        What serious commentators are concerned about, however, are the European and American banks who aren’t so wedded to London as the Hong Kong / Chinese banks. I don’t know enough about this subject to comment why. All i know are the facts. Again, no-one is saying these American and European banks will put out dramatically. But will pull out enough to make a dent in our economy when we will have all sorts of other Brexit issues to deal with, trying to keep our economy strong.

        If we can’t keep our economy strong, then this has all kinds of political ramifications, helping Labour get back into power, and/or working class Brexiters and some/many middle class Brexiters losing faith in Brexit, calling for a second referendum in order to balance the economy, when we would then have to return to the EU with worse conditions than before and without the power to try and reform it. Unintended consequences of Brexit. Got to be pragmatic to avoid this.

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    It’s just another case of “despite Brexit”, JR.

    I’ll tell you something that really is “despite Brexit”, ie Brexit will make little difference one way or the other, and that is the massive annual “churn” of jobs in the UK economy, which dwarfs the total number of jobs which could conceivably be at risk from Brexit even in the Remoaners’ invented apocalyptic worst case scenarios.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32244/11-1326-job-creation-and-destruction-uk-1998-2010.pdf

    “JOB CREATION AND DESTRUCTION IN THE UK : 1998-2010”

    “Just over a quarter (28.0 per cent) of all jobs in the private sector were either destroyed or created over a typical 12 month period”

    “In total, therefore, around 5.2 million jobs in the UK economy were either created or destroyed each year between 1998 and 2008 …”

    http://iea.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/files/Briefing_1502_The%20EU%20Jobs%20Myth_web.pdf

    “The UK labour market is incredibly dynamic, and would adapt quickly to changed relationships with the EU. Prior to the financial crisis, the UK saw on average 4 million jobs created and 3.7 million jobs lost each year – i.e. there is substantial churn of jobs at any given time. Indeed, the annual creation and destruction of jobs is almost exactly
    the same scale as the estimated 3-4 million jobs that are associated with exports to EU actors.”

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Good and useful post Denis. Thank you.

  7. ian
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Of cos not, the remain lot are living in their own world, which is totally devoid of the majority of people that live in this country, the people are not represented by their own politician anymore most likely never were. The politician live in a eu political group think where the people they represent are shutout of everything, and have no say apart from ref last year that went wrong for the politician, which are now trying hard to fix for they own group of people and backers.

  8. JonP
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know john, these large banks and businesses have to plan well into the future and since nobody knows how the future is going to look they could be just hedging their bets like the rest of us- maybe it’s just a reorganisation of their assets in UK.

    If the UK leaves on a hard brexit then there can be little or no cross border capital trade with the EU. That being said Deutsche will still have large business dealings withing the UK itself.

    If on the other hand some other softer deal is worked out then the money business with the EU will be as now and as normal..but from what I hear the exit talks are not going so well so like Deutsche bank we should be prepared.

    Reply Signing a lease for 25 years for almost half a million square feet is a substantial commitment!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 2, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Surely it would have to be a superhard, adamantine, Brexit, for there to be little or no subsequent cross border capital trade between the UK and the EU?

      It would have to be like an embargo imposed by the EU, far more restrictive than the existing position between the EU and say the US, which of course is already a “third country” outside the EU just as the UK will become after Brexit.

      Just having a quick fish around on google I find here:

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/06/22/americas-trade-deficit-is-largely-paid-for-by-european-investment-in-american-manufacturing/#4d3a55f844f9

      “America’s Trade Deficit Is Largely Paid For By European Investment In American Manufacturing”

      And these are huge sums: about $500 billion trade deficit in 2015, two thirds of that matched by $348 billion of FDI, “largely European” it is claimed.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 2, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Why will there be little or no capital trade with the eu in the event of hard Brexit? There is a great deal of capital trade with the US and other global financial centres which have no financial services (or any other) trade deals with either the UK or the EU.

  9. agricola
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    They will make their calculations and location decisions. It is not inconceivable that they will locate in Paris, Frankfurt , and London. In this electronic world they could be in my back bedroom with corporate HQ in the Caymen Islands. They will locate their business where it is most profitable. It ain’t all over till the fat lady sings and even that is an ongoing scenario. For her first aria just get Brexit done cleanly and quickly.

    • Dominic Johnson
      Posted August 2, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Agricola
      They can move their staff
      But they cant stop paying for this office…

  10. Ali Choudhury
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Ion Pacific has 11-50 employees per its LinkedIn page. I doubt their London office will add much headcount.

  11. hefner
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Funny, JR’s interpretation of this particular piece of news on Bloomberg from 01/08/2017 “Deutsche Bank expects to move 4000 jobs to EU after Brexit”. I would think worth reading the whole thing and decide what is what.

  12. Posted August 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    My daughter worked until recently at the European HQ of an American company located just outside London. Staff were told that the company would most definitely not be moving their headquarters to Europe as the company wished to operate under British Law which they considered to be fair and impartial. A consideration that I would never have thought about if it hadn’t been mentioned.

  13. ian
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Just read a story on the conservative home site, titled, some troy candidates are back on the list, but other face further hurdles, some comments under article are good and show what con party votes are up against. I am sure that john would not selected as con party MP theses days.

  14. DaveW
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    If uk leaves by way of hard brexit in 2019..then perhaps deutsche are just planning for when the next UK generation decides to rejoin the eu..big business is always planning way ahead

  15. John
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    For many years I remember the EU threatening to crush the City of London and to take it’s trade to Frankfurt or London.

    I remember George Osborne autumn 2015 describing the move as a war on the City of London. Had we remained in the EU the EU was set to destroy the City of London yet Remainers complain that there may be just a few job losses with Brexit against total collapse if we stayed in the EU.

    When it comes to destroying industries I take the EU seriously as it has form in the area and destroys industries very competently. There is / was a massive amount of legislation and regulations in the pipeline set to destroy financial competiveness. That’s what George Osborne was referring too when he referred to it as a war as did much of the financial press. Nothing new, this had been going on for years.

    Funny to see the Remainers suddenly becoming champions for the Financial Services industry. Warms my heart.

    • John
      Posted August 2, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Frankfurt or Paris!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      The worst of them are champions for the EU.

  16. formula57
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Has the BBC reported yet that Deutsche Bank only give the UK another 25 years?

  17. Epikouros
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Selective cognisance is a useful attribute for those who find truth unpalatable. Most of us are guilty of possessing in but it is especially observable in those who espouse causes that are ill founded but are are clung to with faith like devotion. Notably we see it in progressives, Greens, the left and a recent addition is the one that champions remaining in the EU. So it is no surprise that good Brexit news that is founded in fact is ignored by them in favour of that which speculates on the abominations that will be visited upon us if we have the temerity to leave.

  18. Dennis Zoff
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Two days in France and currently one week in Germany, in the media capital, Cologne. Not one mention of Brexit from any media outlet, tv show or governmental sources. Little interest from family, friends and collegues who are mildly bemused “Brexit what Brexit?”

    Seems our UK press are in overdrive, giving the impression this is a major topic of interest in Europe….only comment to me directly “when are the UK going to finalise withdrawal?”

    ….so clickbait revenue generating, slightly mendacious UK MSM are running the Brexit narrative back and forth for financial gain…..highly amusing!

    At first glance, it seems there is little interest in Europe for Brexit. What are we all getting in such a tizzy about?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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