Goldman Sachs to move $60bn of assets to Germany before Brexit

LaToya Harding
·3-min read
In this photo illustration a multiple exposure image shows a Goldman Sachs logo
The investment bank plans to relocate between $40bn to $60bn to Frankfurt, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs (GS) is looking to move up to $60bn (£45.6bn) of assets to Germany as it becomes the latest company to shift operations to the EU ahead of Brexit.

The investment bank plans to relocate between $40bn to $60bn to Frankfurt, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

It added that the bank may possibly shift more assets over time if its continental business grows.

The company has previously warned that a “difficult Brexit” would affect its investment plans in the UK. Britain has less than two months to go before the Brexit transition period ends.

The move comes as a major boost to Frankfurt as London’s rival cities on the continent seek to attract business from the financial services sector.

Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE, the company’s Frankfurt-based subsidiary that will house the assets, had just €3.4bn ($4bn, £3.1bn) at the end of last year, according to its most recent annual report.

City stalwarts have been beefing up their presence in Europe over the last few years as London will soon be stripped of its EU passporting rights, which provide full access to EU markets. The UK will lose these rights regardless of whether a trade deal is reached with Brussels.

In September, JP Morgan Chase (JPM) also announced plans to shift around €200bn of assets to Germany ahead of the Brexit deadline, while Barclays (BARC.L) kicked off plans to shift £166bn ($218bn) into its Irish subsidiary last year.

Other banks to increase their presence in Germany’s financial hub include Citigroup (C), UBS (UBS) and Standard Chartered (STAN.L).

READ MORE: UK watchdog warns of 'significant' Brexit border disruption

The news comes as Boris Johnson said that “significant differences” remain between the UK and the EU on Saturday.

Following a call with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the prime minister said that progress had been made but that there were still issues around the “level playing field” and fishing rights.

A statement from Downing Street on Saturday said: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson today spoke with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for a stock take on the progress in the negotiations between the UK and the EU.

"The prime minister set out that, while some progress had been made in recent discussions, significant differences remain in a number of areas, including the so-called level playing field and fish.

"The prime minister and president agreed that their negotiating teams would continue talks in London next week, beginning on Monday, in order to redouble efforts to reach a deal.”

On Friday EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said that Britain and the European Union has a 50/50 chance of reaching a Brexit deal.

“We are extremely clear on the conditions and the access to our European market,” he said, adding that Britain had more to lose than the EU if talks deteriorated and resulted in a “no-deal” Brexit.

Negotiators aim to secure a breakthrough by 19 November.

Watch: What is a no-deal Brexit and what are the potential consequences?