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Barclays to Hire About 150 in Europe as Part of Brexit Plans

Donal Griffin
The Dublin skyline is seen from the Guinness brewery, owned by Diageo Plc, in Dublin, Ireland, on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. Irish ministers and executives are closely monitoring economic and market developments in the U.K. because the country is Ireland’s largest trading partner along with the U.S. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Barclays Plc, which houses one of the world’s biggest investment banks, will create about 150 new roles as the firm prepares for Britain’s exit from the European Union, a top executive told U.K. lawmakers.

The new hires in Europe will be in addition to the 150 current U.K.-based positions that will mostly “ migrate ” to Dublin, Kevin Wall, chief executive officer of Barclays’ Irish unit, said in evidence to members of the U.K. Treasury Select Committee. The London-based bank has chosen Ireland as its main EU hub after Brexit, Bloomberg reported last year.

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“We’re looking at about another 150 new roles in Europe, that would be created as a result of this,” said Wall. “In the context of tens of thousands of colleagues here in the U.K., in the context of over a thousand people in Europe already, those are small numbers.”

The world’s largest banks are putting their plans into action as talks between the U.K. and the EU stagger toward a conclusion. While the Europeans’ chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has recently said a deal on an orderly British withdrawal from the bloc is possible within eight weeks, the lenders are continuing to plan on the basis of a messy exit, they told lawmakers today.

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There is much at stake for the banks, which employ thousands of bankers and traders in London and profit from the lack of trading barriers within the EU. Mark Garvin, vice-chairman at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank, is assuming a “no-deal scenario, a disorderly exit,” while executives at Citigroup Inc. and Barclays are making plans on a similar basis, they said.

Brexit will impact “hundreds” of roles at JPMorgan, including “both local hires and potential people transferring from London,” Garvin told the politicians. The U.S. firm has already asked “several dozen” employees to relocate across the EU before the U.K. formally leaves the bloc in March 2019.

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The majority of Citigroup’s EU employees are already based outside the U.K, according to the lender’s head of Britain, James Bardrick. Still, the New York-based bank expects about 150 positions to be affected, he said.

Adds comments from other executives from fifth paragraph.

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