Japan MUFG picks Amsterdam as post-Brexit EU base for securities

AFP/File

Japanese megabank MUFG said Wednesday it decided to pick Amsterdam as a base for its EU securities operation by moving some functions from London in preparation for Brexit.

Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings has decided to apply for a licence to establish a new subsidiary in Amsterdam, MUFG said after narrowing down a list of favourites, which also included Paris.

Britain is at risk of losing the "passporting rights" financial firms use to deal with clients in the rest of the European bloc.

That, along with political uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations, has spurred foreign companies that have set up shop in Britain, or established European headquarters there, to begin looking for alternative locations.

"The new subsidiary in Amsterdam will ensure that the group can continue to provide these services to its EU clients, even if the cross-border passport is lost as a result of Brexit," it said in a statement.

It was not immediately known how many employees will move from London to Amsterdam.

The Financial Times has reported that MUFG has chosen Amsterdam, to where "hundreds of jobs" could be moved from among the 2,100 people the firm employs in London.

Other Japanese firms including Nomura Holdings, Daiwa Securities and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group have said they are planning to move their main EU bases from London to Frankfurt.

Britain formally said in late March it will withdraw from the EU following a referendum to leave that sent shockwaves through the bloc and upended British politics.

According to a survey conducted by Teikoku Databank in 2016, nearly 1,400 Japanese companies do business in Britain.

Of the total, 159 firms are in the finance and insurance sectors, it said.

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