UBS Group AG is leaning toward Frankfurt for its trading headquarters inside the European Union after Brexit, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.
The Swiss firm’s investment bank employs about 4,800 bankers globally and could move 250 or more jobs out of London to Frankfurt and other European locations, two of the people briefed on the deliberations said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. UBS has notified the German regulator that it may increase its business in Frankfurt, the people said. No decision has yet been made and the numbers could still change, they said.
Frankfurt has emerged as the biggest winner in the fight for London-based investment-banking jobs that may have to be relocated to new hubs inside the EU in preparation for the U.K.’s exit in 2019. Standard Chartered, Morgan Stanley and Nomura Holdings Inc. are all expanding their presence in the city.
The bank, which has yet to make a final decision, has also discussed moving positions to discussed creating several hubs across the EU, two people said. The bank declined to comment, as did the German regulator, known as Bafin.
Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said earlier this year that Frankfurt was “a location of choice,” and that he was also considering locations including Amsterdam and Madrid, adding that he will make a decision by the end of summer. Investment banking head Andrea Orcel has said that UBS has shortlisted a number of locations including the Spanish capital.
Banks are still examining the potential costs of Brexit as negotiations for the departure of the U.K. continue. While banks want to be close to clients and are also factoring in quality of life and education in cities where they may be moving to, regulators are urging banks to have as many of their assets as possible in one jurisdiction.
UBS last year merged its European wealth-management operations into a European entity based in Frankfurt which operates branches throughout the continent. The entity has licensing to offer services including deposit taking, financial advisory, trading services and some investment banking advisory business, according to a regulatory filing.