Deutsche Bank may shift €300bn from UK to Frankfurt

Jobs of several hundred traders and 20,000 client accounts likely to be shifted

The  headquarters  of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt.  The company is planning to shift certain activities from the UK there as a result of Brexit. Photograph: Bloomberg

The headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt. The company is planning to shift certain activities from the UK there as a result of Brexit. Photograph: Bloomberg

 

Deutsche Bank may shift about €300 billion from the balance sheet of its UK entity to Frankfurt as client trading and assets migrate to the continent following Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

The project, dubbed Bowline, calls for trading in the German city to go live in September 2018, and for the assets to be moved over by March 2019, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked for anonymity in discussing internal matters.

Shifting €300 billion would be equivalent to almost a fifth of Deutsche Bank’s balance sheet, which listed €1.59 trillion in total assets at the end of last year.

Monika Schaller, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank, declined to comment.

Chief executive John Cryan told employees in a recent videotaped message that he was girding for a hard Brexit, with the “vast majority” of trades currently booked in London probably moving to Frankfurt, but the bank has not officially detailed its plan.

The lender intends to move chunks of trading and investment-banking assets from London to Frankfurt, with the jobs of several hundred traders and as many as 20,000 client accounts likely to be shifted.

Ironed out

“There’s an awful lot of detail to be ironed out and agreed,” Mr Cryan said in the video. “But inevitably roles will need to be either moved, or at least added in Frankfurt.”

Under Bowline trade and balance-sheet migration would begin in September 2018, with six months required for the move of the balance sheet, the person said.

The bank plans to start informing clients from September 2017 that their contracts will be switched to Frankfurt. It wants to have built front-to-back technology and processes by June 2018, according to the person.

Much of Deutsche Bank’s trading in Europe is traditionally booked in London, which gained a prominent role for the bank under Mr Cryan’s predecessors Anshu Jain and Josef Ackermann. – Bloomberg