Bank to press ahead with staff relocation from London due to Brexit

Swiss bank UBS will continue with plans to relocate London staff to offices in the EU, with the company explaining the lack of a Brexit transition deal will result in significant operational changes.

The banking giant is set to merge its UK entity with its European division which is based in Germany ahead of the Brexit deadline of 29 March 2019, resulting in staff moving closer to clients in European cities and locating central risk management and support services in Frankfurt.

UBS said its plans would be put in motion "in the absence of adequate transition relief being agreed and passed into law by the United Kingdom and the European Union".

"The nature of the UK's future relationship with the EU remains unclear," UBS said.

"Any future limitations on providing financial services into the EU from our UK operations could require us to make potentially significant changes to our operations in the UK and the EU, and to our legal structure."

Credit: PA

It added: "We further anticipate that some staff would be relocated as a result."

It is understood that fewer than 200 could be moved under current plans, with talks over relocation set to take place in the coming months.

The changes will mean shifting its European Economic Area (EEA) investment bank business from London to other EU offices, though its UK wealth management, asset management and non-EEA investment bank business will remain in Britain.

The Swiss bank employs more than 5,000 people in London.

"The timing and extent of the actions we take may vary considerably depending on regulatory requirements and the nature of any transition or successor agreements with the EU," UBS said.