Deutsche Bank has committed to moving to a new office in London, at a time when banks are assessing their place in the capital ahead of Brexit.
Germany’s biggest lender is in exclusive talks for a 25-year lease on a new building. Garth Ritchie, UK chief executive of Deutsche, told staff the move “underlines the bank’s commitment to the City of London”. He said staff would start moving to the new UK headquarters in 2023.
The deal showed “the importance it attaches to being an employer of choice in the capital”, Mr Ritchie said. Deutsche Bank employs about 7,000 people in London, who are currently scattered across 15 different buildings. It is in negotiations with developer Land Securities over the lease on a new building to be constructed at 21 Moorfields.
Brexit contingency plans
As Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger Brexit talks on 29 March, some financial firms have stepped up plans on how to deal with any disruption. This week, a senior Goldman Sachs executive said it would move jobs away from London and bulk up its European presence by “hundreds of people” as part of Brexit contingency plans. The US bank, which is also in the process of building a new office in London, is planning to bolster some European offices before the UK leaves the EU. Also this week, Deutsche Bank started a share sale to raise about 8bn euros (£6.9bn, $8.5bn) to bolster its finances. On Tuesday, it was revealed that the bank had cut its bonuses by more than three-quarters last year, to 0.5bn euros (£433m) from 2.4bn euros a year earlier.
The US Department of Justice is suing Barclays for alleged mortgage securities fraud.
It claims that Barclays misled investors about the quality of loans backing securities in the run-up to the financial crisis. Barclays rejected the claims, saying they were “disconnected from the facts”. The banking giant is among a number of European banks that have been under investigation by US authorities. On Friday, the US said Deutsche Bank had agreed to pay $7.2bn to settle a mortgage investigation.
The US Department of Justice said: “From 2005 to 2007, Barclays personnel repeatedly misrepresented the characteristics of the loans backing securities they sold to investors throughout the world, who incurred billions of dollars in losses as a result of the fraudulent scheme.” It said it could seek civil penalties up to the amount that Barclays gained, or that investors lost. Federal prosecutors said that as part of the alleged scheme Barclays sold $31bn in securities.
More than half of the mortgages backing the securities defaulted, the suit alleged. Investors included “credit unions, pension plans, charitable and religious organisations, university endowments, and financial institutions, among others” said Robert Capers, the chief prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York. Unlike in some other cases against major institutions, the Justice Department has chosen not to seek a mutually acceptable resolution.
Barclays said: “We have an obligation to our shareholders, customers, clients, and employees to defend ourselves against unreasonable allegations and demands. “Barclays will vigorously defend the complaint and seek its dismissal at the earliest opportunity.”