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Deutsche Bank considers move if UK leaves EU

Deutsche Bank is looking into a possible relocation of its operations from Britain to Germany if the UK leaves the EU, according to reports. 19 May 2015

The German bank has established a working group to look at the potential impact on its business of the UK exiting from the European Union.

This group will consider whether some activities should be moved to a country within the eurozone, most likely to be Germany, a spokesman said.

The working group includes senior executives in strategy, risk, UK management and research.

Deutsche Bank’s bankers have been approached by clients in the past few months and weeks looking for advice on the topic, the spokesman said.

"The working group will do scenario-based planning on implications on our presence in the UK, including whether it would be advantageous for certain activities to be repatriated to the Eurozone, specifically to Germany," the spokesman said. 

UK prime minister David Cameron has said there will be a referendum on whether to remain in the EU before the end of 2017.

Financial services expert Angus McFadyen of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: “This is a natural reaction from Deutsche, as it would be from any major organisation – given the impact of major decisions like this, contingency planning is a must. We have seen similar action around issues like the potential Grexit and Scottish independence."

Deutsche Bank is the Eurozone’s second-largest bank based on assets. It has had a presence in the UK since 1873, and has just under 9,000 UK employees. 

Deutsche Bank recently released details of its "next phase of strategy" including a €3.5 billion (US$3.8 billion) cost saving plan.

The previous week, Deutsche Bank had paid a record US$2.5 billion in fines to US and UK authorities over allegations that it manipulated the interbank offered rates.

Editor's note 19/02015: This story was updated with comment from Deutsche Bank.