Bank of China moves into One Lothbury

THE Bank of China, the world&rsquo;s fourth largest bank, yesterday signed an &pound;86m deal for the prestigious City building One Lothbury.<br /><br />The Bank of China, which currently occupies 48,000 sq ft at 90 Cannon Street, will move between 250 and 300 of its UK staff into its new flagship office, with the hope of expanding its staff base further.<br /><br />Bank of China&rsquo;s Wenbo How said that the move is part of the bank&rsquo;s plans to expand in the UK and Europe. <br /><br />He added: &ldquo;We have the best building in China, Hong Kong and we wanted the best in London. The Bank of China has enough capital to pay for a brilliant building and we believe the City is the place to be.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Bank of China has been looking since July for a stand-out City building, but favoured traditional architecture &ndash; of which there is limited supply in the City. <br /><br />CB Richard Ellis and law firm Faegre &amp; Benson acted for the Bank of China, while Drivers Jonas and Cushman &amp; Wakefield acted for&nbsp; owner Westfield Investment.<br /><br />CBRE senior director&nbsp; Stephen Pearson said: &ldquo;Combined with other recent large transactions, it is a sign that there is regained confidence in the market from overseas investors and the deal particularly signifies the growing importance of China-based companies in the London economy.&rdquo;<br /><br />The deal follows a surge of property deals in the City after Nomura&rsquo;s take-up of Watermark Place and Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi at the Ropemaker.<br /><br />The sale of One Lothbury, which is opposite the Bank of England, is yet another sign of how the City&rsquo;s most iconic buildings are being snapped up by foreign companies.