The banking Brexodus is coming a step closer.
Deutsche Bank AG on Wednesday became the first large bank to publicly announce the beginning of a wholesale relocation of client business out of the U.K. in response to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. The Frankfurt-based lender said it plans to complete the shift this year unless negotiators in Brussels agree on a transition period that will give banks more time.
“We have today begun to engage with clients regarding the global booking hub,” Deutsche Bank said. “We believe it is prudent to begin this process now, given less than 14 months remain until the U.K. is scheduled to leave the European Union.”
Deutsche Bank previously announced it will make Frankfurt its primary global booking hub for the corporate and investment bank after the U.K. voted to leave the bloc. Several hundred traders and as many as 20,000 client accounts could be affected. London will remain the bank’s trading hub, and most traders will continue to be based there, a senior executive in the lender’s investment banking division, Stefan Hoops, said earlier this year.
Most international banks plan to establish new trading hubs inside the bloc in time for Brexit, but that would only involve relocating a few hundred jobs.