Finance REPORT: Japan's biggest bank chooses Amsterdam ahead of Frankfurt for post-Brexit EU hub

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Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has already shifted its main EU HQ for corporate and retail banking to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam by night. play

Amsterdam by night.

(Flickr/Jean van der Sluijs)
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LONDON – Japan's biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, has chosen the Dutch capital Amsterdam as the location of its post-Brexit EU headquarters, according to a report from the Financial Times on Sunday.

Citing "two people briefed on the situation," the FT says that the move will initially impact less than 100 jobs, but could eventually lead to several hundred staff being shifted out of London, where MUFG currently employs 2,100 people.

MUFG has already shifted its main EU HQ for corporate and retail banking to Amsterdam, but will also move its investment banking activities within the bloc to city as well.

In a statement on Monday morning, MUFG confirmed that its EMEA headquarters will remain in London, but that it is looking to set up a new EU subsidiary.

"We are considering our options around MUFG Securities and the need to establish a new subsidiary within the EU. We are working closely with regulators to ensure that we reach a solution that is in the best interests of our clients.

"However, until we conclude our discussions, we are unable to confirm specific plans."

Banks from across the world are currently assessing their options when it comes to Britain's impending exit from the European Union. Most lenders from Japan and the USA currently have their European bases in London, but are expected to shift those operations to continental Europe to maintain an EU presence after Brexit.

Britain is expected to lose financial passporting rights, which allow banks with a base in the UK to sell products and services to customers and financial markets across the EU, after Brexit.

Mitsubishi's move marks a departure from the pattern of major lenders choosing Frankfurt for their Brexit bases. So far, virtually every lender that has announced a concrete move has said they will move their EU base to the German financial hub of Frankfurt.

Prior to news of MUFG's move, three major Japanese banks, Nomura, Daiwa, and Sumitomo Mitsui all announced new EU HQs in the city. American giant Citigroup also confirmed that it will send some staff to Frankfurt, while Morgan Stanley is also expected to move staff.

Germany's biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, has also said that it is likely to shift some of its London staff to its global HQ in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt has proved so popular so far that there are fears the city could run out of office space as the movement of banks puts a squeeze on the city's commercial property sector.