Ford is mapping a possible move to Germany for part of its sizeable financing division, as the car manufacturer plots a route to avoid Brexit fallout.
According to Sky News, which first reported the story, staff at Essex-based Ford Credit Europe (FCE) have been told the company has commissioned a study into whether it would be beneficial to apply for a German banking licence, to ensure it can continue to serve all of its current customers once the UK departs from the EU.
Many in the City have been worried that Brexit will spell the end of passporting, a complex set of rights which allows financial services firms to do business in other EEA countries.
FCE, which provides automotive and mobility-related financial products and has a full banking licence in the UK from the Prudential Regulation Authority, passports with 11 European countries.
The reports of the potential move of some operations outside of the UK are likely to create questions over jobs at the firm, as the revelation comes just days after the car company revealed 1,100 jobs at its Bridgend engine plant could be gone by 2021.
A buzz of activities in the car manufacturing sector at wide has left many workers in the industry concerned about their future prospects. Perhaps most notable, PSA, the firm that owns Peugeot and Citroen, reached a deal yesterday to buy the European operations of Vauxhall's parent company General Motors.
Business secretary Greg Clark has already said conversations he and Prime Minister Theresa May had held with GM and PSA left him "cautiously optimistic" about the protection of UK jobs, although experts have warned City A.M. the government has no legal powers to intervene to safeguard the roles.