Goldman Sachs boss hails Frankfurt amid Brexit shift

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The chief executive of Goldman Sachs has cast further doubt over the banking giant’s future in London after Brexit in a provocative tweet that is likely to pile further pressure on the Government.

Lloyd Blankfein took to Twitter on Thursday to detail a recent trip to Frankfurt, where the US bank is planning to shift a portion of its UK operations after Brexit.

He said: “Just left Frankfurt. Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I’ll be spending a lot more time there.”

Goldman Sachs, which employs around 6,500 people in the UK, has previously confirmed that it is looking to at least double its 200-strong employee base in Frankfurt as part of its Brexit contingency plans.

Earlier this month it was reported that the group has signed a contract to lease eight floors of a skyscraper in the city, capable of holding 800 staff.

The bank has said it is also looking at bolstering its footprint in other financial hubs across the EU.

A raft of international banks, insurers and asset managers are preparing to shift portions of their UK operations to the continent in preparation for Britain’s divorce from the EU in hopes of safeguarding against the loss of passporting rights which currently give UK-based financial services cross-border access to the bloc.

Frankfurt has emerged as the biggest beneficiary of Brexit so far as London-based financial firms increasingly opt to relocate staff to Germany’s financial centre.

Standard Chartered has committed to expanding or establishing offices in Germany, Citigroup has notified its bankers of plans to bolster its Frankfurt office, creating 150 jobs, and Morgan Stanley is on track to move as many as 200 staff.

Mizuho will join a raft of Japanese banks which have chosen the city as an EU hub, including Daiwa, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Nomura.

JP Morgan is taking a similar approach to Goldman Sachs by planning to spread staff across a number of European cities, including Frankfurt.

Responding to the comments, a Downing Street spokesman told reporters: “We’re not going to comment on an individual statement.

“But let’s be clear, London is and will remain the world’s leading financial centre.

“We have The breadth of talent, legal system, regulation and deep pools of capital that are simply unrivalled by centres anywhere else in Europe and we are confident of securing an ambitious economic partnership with the EU that will include financial services.”

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