Citigroup, Credit Suisse confirm post-Brexit relocation in six months

Citigroup and Credit Suisse have confirmed that they would take a decision over the next six months on which operations they would relocate out of London following Brexit.

Speaking at the European Financial Forum conference held in Dublin on Tuesday, senior executives from both banks said that they were looking to move certain businesses to other countries in Europe. It was not clear, though, which operations they planned to shift.

Citigroup CEO for Europe, Middle East and African, James Cowles said the US bank would move part of its current London operations to Ireland. "It's been a great experience and when we look at different aspects of our business currently in London, there will be some things we'll move to Ireland...We'll have good, steady growth in employment in Ireland," he said.

While Citigroup currently employed 9,000 people in the UK, it already had about 2,500 staff in Ireland.

Cowles pointed out that Citigroup was already in discussion with other European regulators and governments in Italy, France, Spain and the Netherlands.

He went on to explain that the bank had 25 criteria to consider while choosing the new location.

The US bank, which employs 9,000 people in the UK, has been in discussions with the authorities in Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands as potential locations for the new operation as it prepared for losing access to the remaining 27 members of the EU once the UK left the trading bloc.

Meanwhile, speculation in the financial industry in the UK was high that the triggering of article 50, planned for March and which would signal the formal negotiations to leave the EU would see major US, Japanese and Swiss banks in the UK implementing their Brexit contingency plans. The race was on among financial centres in the EU to lure any business lost by the UK in the Brexit fallout.

''We will be making a decision in the first half of this year, it's a decision that every bank has to make in the first six months of this year,'' Reuters quoted Cowles as telling the European Financial Forum in Dublin.