Deutsche Bank has confirmed it is considering leaving the UK if the British electorate votes to exit the European Union in a referendum promised by David Cameron, according to Sky News. Deutsche Bank has established a working group to look at the potential impact on its business of the UK withdrawing from the 28-nation bloc. The working group includes the senior executives of strategy, risk, UK management and research.
While it is generally believed that several banks are considering their position in light of a potential UK exit from the EU, Deutsche Bank is the first name so far to go public. The Conservatives have said they plan a vote on the issue before the end of 2017 after attempting to renegotiate the terms of EU membership.According to Deutsche Bank, which has been in the UK since 1873, this group will do “scenario-based planning” on the implications of an EU exit on the bank’s presence in the UK, including whether it would be advantageous for certain activities to be repatriated to the eurozone, specifically to Germany.
“We are the eurozone’s second-largest bank based on assets. We have 16 locations in the UK, down from 21 five years ago, with just under 9,000 employees here,” a spokesman said. “Unlike other banks, our review is not based on the UK banking levy, but on the Brexit potential.” Last month, Sky News revealed that HSBC was considering moving its headquarters from London to Hong Kong due to a combination of the banking levy and the fact that the majority of its business is in Asia.
An Ipsos Mori survey in February, which polled over 100 chairman and executive directors of the UK’s 500 biggest companies, found concerns about abandoning the EU within British boardrooms. The survey showed that although 45% captains of industry wanted to be part of an economic community, without political links, just 1% would be happy to leave it all together. Just under half (45%) wanted to continue the relationship with the EU as it stands.
But on Monday, the chief executive of digger manufacturer JCB said that an exit would not make a “blind bit of difference to trade”.