JP Morgan confirms London as its EU headquarters

INVESTMENT bank JP Morgan has confirmed it will base its European headquarters in London, at 25 Bank Street in Canary Wharf, from 2012.

The announcement is a major vote of confidence in London as a leading financial services centre and will come as a relief to policymakers.

The bank has paid £495m to acquire more than one million square feet of floor space that will host its entire investment banking division, currently spread over four buildings in London.

“This acquisition is a long-term investment and represents part of our continued commitment to London as one of the world’s most important financial centres,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JP Morgan.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said the decision was “a tremendous coup for London and for the UK, which rightly reflects the prevailing confidence in the capital.”

“Banking is one of the few global industries in which we truly excel,” he said. “JP Morgan’s commitment to London will help ensure the capital retains its position as a banking powerhouse, which drives the UK economy and attracts the brightest and best stars from the financial world.”

Construction work will start immediately to make the building ready for the bank’s use in 2012.

JP Morgan joins other firms such as KPMG, Fitch, Mastercard and Moodys at Canary Wharf.

Its additional staff means the working headcount of Canary Wharf will rise above 100,000 for the first time, the former owner, Canary Wharf Group said.