JPMorgan Leads $283 Billion Brexit Shift to Frankfurt

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. have presented plans to increase the assets held through their Frankfurt subsidiaries tenfold after the U.K.’s exit from the EU to comply with requirements, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private information.

The major U.S. investment banks are planning to shift about 250 billion euros ($283 billion) of balance-sheet assets to Frankfurt because of Brexit, several people briefed on the matter said.

The post-Brexit estimates below are according to people familiar with the matter and figures for 2017 are from the annual reports of the bank’s German subsidiaries; all figures are in billion of euros.

post-Brexit plan 2017 actual
JPMorgan >100 15.7
Goldman Sachs 40-60 0.3
Citigroup 40-50 10.2
Morgan Stanley 30-40 1.6
Total ~250 27.8

The final size of the assets, including a large chunk of derivatives contracts with EU clients, may change depending on the outcome of Brexit talks, the people said. Any shift will likely be very sizable unless banks can keep their EU passporting rights, they said.

Representatives for JPMorgan, Goldman, Citi and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Many banks are finalizing Brexit planning with only a few more months before Britain’s planned divorce from the EU and uncertainty about key aspects of the final agreement.

They need approval for their plans from regulators, who have recently indicated they want to see more risk management functions based in the EU after Brexit.

JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have all said that they will convert their Frankfurt offices into their EU hubs. Citigroup has chosen Frankfurt as its EU trading hub and recently converted its German legal entity to serve the entire bloc. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has selected Paris as its EU hub.

JPMorgan held $310 billion of assets in the U.K. subsidiary out of total assets of $2,5 trillion at the end of 2017, according to a regulatory filing. Similar disclosures were unavailable for the other banks.

Deutsche Bank, which had total assets of 1,48 trillion euros at end 2017, may shift at least 300 billion euros to Frankfurt as well.

There were 143 foreign-owned banks in Germany at the end of September that had combined balance sheet assets of 1,14 trillion euros ($1,3 trillion), according to Bundesbank statistics.

Though U.S. banks are likely to be among the banks planning the biggest balance sheet shifts as a result of Brexit, other banks that have picked Frankfurt as their EU hub such as Standard Chartered, UBS or Nomura will likely shift balance sheet to Germany’s financial capital as well.