Mizuho Financial Group considers move to Dublin following Brexit

Bank has 1,250 employees in London, which is home to its largest branch in Europe

Mizuho Financial Group’s top executive said the Japanese megabank is considering cities in Europe including Dublin, Luxembourg and Amsterdam as potential locations to base its London-based securities unit if it is impacted by a “heavy Brexit”.

While many cities had approached the lender, nothing has been decided yet, chief executive Yasuhiro Sato said on Friday in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Davos, Switzerland.

His bank has about 1,250 employees in London, which is home to its largest branch in Europe.

"In our case the banking business is a branch network, so we don't care about passporting," said Sato (64). "But on the securities side we have a subsidiary so we have to take certain action if there is a heavy Brexit. "


He did not specify what a “heavy Brexit” might entail.

Banks from HSBC Holdings to JPMorgan Chase have indicated their plans to reduce operations in the UK after prime minister Theresa May this week delivered her vision for leaving the EU single market. Lenders are concerned they will lose so-called passporting rights that allow them to sell services throughout the EU from London.


Mizuho’s domestic competitor Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is considering setting up a European unit to maintain business there in light of Brexit, Takeshi Kunibe, the CEO of the company’s lending unit, said on Thursday. Unlike Mizuho and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui does not have a subsidiary in continental Europe.

Mizuho also has a banking unit in Amsterdam, which it renamed from Mizuho Bank Nederland to Mizuho Bank Europe on January 1st to reflect the growing number of countries where it does business in the region.

Sato welcomed any move by incoming US president Donald Trump toward financial deregulation in that country, where Mizuho has been growing its operations “quite rapidly”.

“Interpreting the new banking rules has been quite confusing,’’ said Sato. “If Trump is going to ease regulations, that’s good news for us.’’ – Bloomberg