The merger between the Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange has been vetoed by the European Commission because of competition concerns, ending a third attempt in 17 years to unite the financial hubs of London and Frankfurt. In a statement on Wednesday, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Britain's decision to leave the 28-nation bloc had played no role in banning the tie-up.
London may be on the cusp of falling down from its post as top financial center of the planet, finds a new report, although rival European cities still lag far behind. The Z/Yen Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI), released last week, retained London’s top spot but uncovered widespread feelings of uncertainty among financial professionals, especially as concerns over potential fallouts from Brexit continue. The report’s ranking of 88 financial hubs placed London at the top, followed by New York City and three Asian cities: Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
UBS has repeatedly warned it will move staff to the Continent in the wake of the EU referendum. Chairman Axel Weber claimed 1,500 jobs would shift from London to preserve its business on mainland Europe and that the two-year negotiation process for Brexit “simply would not work” for its relocation strategy. “We cannot postpone decisions on how we run our European operations,” Weber said at a conference in Frankfurt on Wednesday. “As soon as we know definitely that Brexit will happen, you will see decision-making processes kick off in all financial institutions.”
Two City traders, George Urumov and Vladimir Gersamia, were convicted of multiple fraud offences following a four-month trial at Southwark Crown Court. The pair were handed jail terms of seven and 12 years respectively. The victim of the complex fraud scheme was Russian bank Otkritie, with the size of the losses related to the illegal actions exceeding £141 m ($176 m), according to a report in the Financial Times. The first part of the fraud was carried out in 2011, when Urumov joined Otkritie Securities Ltd (OSL) and manipulated the company into paying him approximately $25m as a “sign-on” fee under the false impression that it would be distributed to others also joining the company.
Credit Suisse is exploring options for expanding in Dublin, as the UK moves closer to exiting the European Union, according to a report from Bloomberg. It is believed Dublin is emerging as a favoured location for the bank’s so-called back-office jobs. The Zurich-based bank is also understood to be considering cities including Frankfurt as it develops plans for moving jobs to adapt to Brexit, according to two people familiar with the matter. Credit Suisse board member Noreen Doyle said in Dublin earlier this week that the bank is in the "early stages" of examining alternatives to the UK as it plans for Brexit's implications.
Barclays has settled on Dublin for its main hub inside the EU after Brexit, and is planning to add about 150 staff here if UK-based finance companies lose easy access to the trading bloc, according to Bloomberg sources. It is believed the bank started scouting the city for office space this month, and has been in contact with regulators here about expanding its operations.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Britain should look to Switzerland on how to handle relations with the European Union, for a post-Brexit model of "close co-operation", according to Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) on Sunday. "Britons should take as an example how cleverly Switzerland has linked national sovereignty and close cooperation with the European Union," he said, Britain needed a "wise political solution" to Brexit added. A series of bilateral deals have been struck between Switzerland and the EU meaning it accepts free movement of people and certain rules on trade.
The top boss of HSBC, Stuart Gulliver, has said it is planning to move some staff from London to Paris following Britain’s exit from the European Union. Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Gulliver said in an interview Bloomberg Television that "about 1,000 jobs which are carrying out activities which are covered by European legislation... would probably need, in our case, to go to France". While Gulliver had in the past already hinted at such a switch of investment banking jobs, his comments appeared more precise as he suggested France would take precedence over other EU nations.
UK’s powerhouse financial sector would face heightened risk and an exodus of 232,000 jobs without certainty over Britain’s Brexit deal, MPs in the House of Commons have heard. Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE), said two thirds of the job losses would be felt outside Greater London, with the blow coming as soon as the euro clearing operation leaves Britain’s shores. Speaking to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee, Mr Rolet said the jobs figure came from a report produced by professional services firm EY for the LSE, which not only took into account the “few thousand” jobs lost from euro clearing itself, but the entire impact on financial services if the operation was moved outside the UK.
Fund manager Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (EdRam) is to withdraw from the UK retail market less than a year after launching an ambitious expansion programme. A spokesperson confirmed that the firm, which opened its London office in 2012, is looking to pull back from the UK despite its recent expansion drive in the country. A number of roles will be shifted from London to Paris, Luxembourg and Geneva although there will be redundancies, including its UK head of wholesale Daniel Lee, who joined in September 2015 from Allianz.
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