JP Morgan is in talks to buy an office building in Dublin big enough to hold more than 1,000 workers, increasing speculation that it will move jobs from London as a result of Brexit.
The US investment bank is in talks to buy a building in Dublin’s Capital Dock from the developer Kennedy Wilson and the National Asset Management Agency, which was created by the Irish government after the financial crisis to buy property loans from banks.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan, said before the EU referendum last June that the bank could be forced to move as many as 4,000 jobs from the UK if the country voted to leave.
JP Morgan employs about 19,000 people in the UK, with its main offices in Canary Wharf, Bournemouth and Glasgow.
The news about the potential Dublin office comes on the day that Lloyd’s of London confirmed it will open a new Brussels office that will allow it to continue underwriting insurance policies across all EU states after the UK leaves.
It is understood that JP Morgan has not made a decision about if or where it will move staff from London, but the Dublin office would be an option.
In an internal memo sent to staff on Wednesday, the day that Britain formally requested to leave the EU, Mary Erdoes, head of asset and wealth management, and Daniel Pinto, head of the firm’s corporate and investment bank, said: “JP Morgan is fortunate to have options across the EU that will allow us to continue to support our clients in any event.
“Our size, scale and existing footprint across the continent mean that we have choices in terms of locations and legal entity structure. We may need to make adjustments to our legal structure, but we will maintain our strong commitment to our clients in the UK and the EU.
“Our firm is well-placed today to be ready to serve clients even if the UK loses its ability to passport services into the EU.
“We have spent the last several months reviewing the many variables in this process – client needs, employee considerations, regulatory requirements, operational risks, our inventory of licenses, political issues in the region and dozens of other factors. This is a complex process and we will not rush into any decisions.”
The Liberal Democrats warned the potential Dublin deal for JP Morgan and the new Brussels office for Lloyd’s are a sign that there could be an exodus from the City after Brexit.
Susan Kramer, the Lib Dem Treasury spokeswoman, said: “David Davis has already gone back on his assurances that British firms would continue to enjoy all the benefits of single market membership in his post-Brexit utopia. Now reality is starting to intervene, with JP Morgan reportedly looking to move 1,000 jobs out of London. This follows Lloyd’s of London saying it will open an office in Brussels due to Brexit and become, at least in part, Lloyd’s of Brussels.
“It is the prime minister’s choice to drive Britain out of the single market, and that is driving jobs and wealth creation out of the UK. Estimates suggest leaving the single market could cost Britain up to £200bn over 15 years.
“When the P45s start to land and the NHS operations are cancelled, this will be the government’s fault.”
This article was written by Graham Ruddick, for theguardian.com on Thursday 30th March 2017 14.06 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010