Goldman Sachs boss issues veiled threat over Brexit job exodus from London

Lloyd Blankfein tweets picture of £350m HQ under construction with message ‘hoping to fill it up, but so much is outside our control’

The boss of Goldman Sachs has waded back in to the debate over Brexit by issuing another veiled threat about the Wall Street firm’s employment plans in London as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

Lloyd Blankfein sent a tweet of an aerial shot of the new £350m European headquarters the bank has under construction in London, with the words “expecting/hoping to fill it up, but so much outside our control”.

It is the first tweet he has sent since the one a fortnight ago, when he was in Frankfurt and said he expected to spend more time in the German city. It comes amid continued uncertainty over negotiations for the UK’s exit from the bloc.

In London. GS still investing in our big new Euro headquarters here. Expecting/hoping to fill it up, but so much outside our control.#Brexit pic.twitter.com/XwrIcqwM1t

— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) October 30, 2017

As part of its Brexit plans, Goldman is taking the top eight floors of a 37-storey block under construction in Frankfurt, which is expected to be ready for occupation in the third quarter of 2019.

It had already begun work on a new European headquarters in London before the referendum in June 2016 and the 10-storey building is scheduled for completion in March 2019 – just as the UK is due to leave the EU.

Goldman Sachs employs 6,000 staff in three premises in London and has the option to take all the space in the new building – just a stone’s throw from its main London location in Fleet Street – or sublet space. Goldman has yet to disclose how many staff will be located in the new building.

Just left Frankfurt. Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I'll be spending a lot more time there. #Brexit

— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) October 19, 2017

Many in the City are watching Goldman’s occupancy plans for the new London headquarters as a gauge for the impact of Brexit on the financial centre. The Frankfurt building could house up to 1,000 staff – suggesting the prospect of adding 800 on top of the 200 already employed in the German financial centre.

In January, Blankfein said that as a result of the vote to leave the EU Goldman was suspending a previous plan to shift some of its operations from New York to London. Sincethen, Richard Gnodde, chief executive of its international arm, has said the bank’s Brexit plans include hiring extra staff in the remaining 27 EU nations to cope with the extra business which will be channelled through Europe instead of London.

Major City firms are calling on Theresa May’s government to clinch a deal over a transition period of two years to help ease uncertainty about the impact of Brexit. The City of London Corporation – the local authority for the Square Mile – last week warned an agreement was needed by the end of the year.

Without an agreement, City firms are planning for a “hard Brexit”, one where the UK leaves the EU without access to the single market or retains any of its previous-style trading arrangements.

Contributor

Jill Treanor

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Goldman Sachs boss calls for second Brexit referendum
New Lloyd Blankfein tweet says lots of CEOs wish for new vote to confirm support is still there for such a ‘monumental and irreversible’ decision

Jill Treanor

16, Nov, 2017 @4:54 PM

Article image
Goldman Sachs boss says sorry over financial crisis
After being ridiculed for saying he was doing God's work, Lloyd Blankfein delivers a mea culpa to a conference in New York

Graeme Wearden

18, Nov, 2009 @11:10 AM

Article image
It's Frankfurt … and Paris: Goldman Sachs names post-Brexit hubs
Lloyd Blankfein says cities would be main hubs for handling business no longer possible in London, with American staff ‘probably preferring Paris’

Jill Treanor

20, Nov, 2017 @3:14 PM

Article image
Brexit will 'stall' City, says Goldman Sachs chief
Lloyd Blankfein, whose bank employs more than 6,000 in London, says it has ‘contingency plans’ to move staff out of UK

Mark Sweney

05, May, 2017 @7:01 AM

Article image
Goldman Sachs boss talks up Frankfurt as Brexit talks loom
Pressure grows on Theresa May before EU dinner as Lloyd Blankfein tweets plan to spend ‘a lot more time’ in German finance capital

Dan Roberts and Angela Monaghan

19, Oct, 2017 @2:07 PM

Article image
Goldman Sachs stalls plan to move jobs to UK amid Brexit uncertainty
US firm slows London hiring as City employers including HSBC and UBS warn they will have to relocate staff out of Britain

Jill Treanor

19, Jan, 2017 @1:15 PM

Article image
Goldman Sachs boosts post-Brexit plans with Frankfurt office deal
Wall Street bank leases eight floors of new 37-storey block in German financial capital with space for 1,000 staff

Jill Treanor

05, Oct, 2017 @6:27 PM

Article image
Bitcoin is a vehicle for fraudsters, warns Goldman Sachs boss
CEO Lloyd Blankfein attacks cryptocurrency after value dives 20% in a day, saying bank will not get involved until it becomes less volatile

Angela Monaghan

30, Nov, 2017 @6:25 PM

Article image
Goldman Sachs' Harvey Schwartz exits, clearing way for new CEO
Departure will make David Solomon the sole contender to replace Lloyd Blankfein

Julia Kollewe

12, Mar, 2018 @8:10 PM

Article image
Goldman Sachs reports third quarter loss of $393m
Investment bank reported its second quarterly loss since going public in 1999 as the turmoil in Europe and Washington took its toll on its business

Dominic Rushe and Jill Treanor

18, Oct, 2011 @5:21 PM