Citigroup buys its main Belfast office for £34m

Wall Street giant now employs more than 2,600 people in the city

Citigroup’s main office building in Belfast, which it has now acquired.

Citigroup’s main office building in Belfast, which it has now acquired.

 

Wall Street banking giant Citigroup has acquired its main office in Belfast, a city where it employs more than 2,600 people.

The deal comes a week after it emerged that the group had spent £1 billion (€1.15 billion) acquiring a skyscraper it had been renting for almost two decades in Canary Wharf in London, and the purchase in 2016 of its New York headquarters for $2 billion (€1.77 billion).

The company, which also employs more than 2,500 in the Republic, did not disclose the price it has paid for the Gateway Building, its largest office in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast. It is understood, however, that the deal was worth about £34 million.

Citigroup established a presence in Belfast in 2005 when it opened an office to house 375 technology staff.

“We now have more than 2,600 employees working in 22 different disciplines in the city,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday. “Our Gateway office opened in 2009, and the purchase of the building, a decade later, further demonstrates our commitment to Citi’s long-term future in Belfast and the UK.”

Dublin unit

The group’s Dublin-based unit Citibank Europe became its main banking entity in the European Union in early 2016, after the activities of its Citibank International unit in the UK were folded into the Dublin-based business. The decision was made before the Brexit referendum.

Citigroup established its new EU stocks and bonds trading hub – or its so-called broker-dealer – in Frankfurt last month in order to be able to continue to provide private capital markets services to clients when the UK leaves the union.

The group has said that Brexit would result in the group creating about 150 new roles across the EU. Its headquarters from the wider Europe, Middle East and Africa regions remains in London, where it still has about 6,000 staff.

The group’s chief executive, Mike Corbat, said in January that preparing for Breixt had cost the company in the low hundreds of millions of dollars.