Goldman Sachs is considering halving its London workforce

 
Emma Haslett
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Laterz, Lloyd: Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein is mulling moving UK jobs to Europe and the US (Source: Getty)

Goldman Sachs is considering cutting the number of staff in London to 3,000 after Brexit, it has been reported - effectively halving its workforce in the UK.

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that the US banking giant is mulling moving 1,000 jobs to Frankfurt as part of the plans, while other key operations would move to New York and Europe.

Among roles earmarked for a move are those in compliance, traders, investment bankers who advise French and Spanish firms and back-office personnel, who would move to Warsaw.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs said: “We continue to work through all possible implications of the Brexit vote. There remain numerous uncertainties as to what the Brexit negotiations will yield in terms of an operating framework for the banking industry. As a result we have not taken any decisions as to what our eventual response will be.”

New York, New York

Speaking with Bloomberg today, Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein said New York stood to be the main beneficiary of Brexit, as his bank was being forced to reassess what parts of its business it migrated across the Atlantic.

"If we were operating our business to maximise our global potential, we were trying to get as much in the UK as we could," Blankfein said. "So if a business needed to be done in the UK, it was always there. But if a business could be done in the UK we started to migrate it."

He continued: "We were on track to move more and more of our global activities...now we're slowing down that decision and now we're moving there what we have to move there because we want to preserve our optionally...because we don't value doing things twice, moving them there and then moving them away from there."

Jumping on the bandwagon

The news came a day after two banking chiefs said they were planning to move jobs if Brexit negotiations don't go as they hope.

Yesterday HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said the lender was considering moving jobs accounting for 20 per cent of its revenue out of the UK.

Axel Weber, chairman of UBS, also indicated 1,000 jobs may move out of the UK if passporting rights are not approved, reiterating comments by Andrea Orcel, president of the lender's investment bank, who said it "will have to move bankers".

Negotiations begin

Today Theresa May will sit down for crunch talk with top bankers including Goldman boss Blankfein and JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon.

At a roundtable at the World Economic Forum in Davos, May is expected to discuss the UK's Brexit plans.

Back in October Barclays boss Jes Staley said the lender plans to keep as many roles as possible in the UK.

“Our intention and desire is to stay as much invested in London and the United Kingdom as we can. We are a British bank,” he said.