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Japan’s MUFG braces for Brexit by applying for license to operate in Amsterdam

Josie Cox
Amsterdam is already home to MUFG’s retail and corporate banking operations: Getty/iStockphoto

Japanese investment bank Mitsubishi UFJ Securities has announced that it is putting measures in place to move some of its European securities division from London to Amsterdam because of Brexit.

In a statement, the lender said that the securities services it offers EU clients are currently provided through a subsidiary in the UK. It said that it has decided to apply for a licence to operate in the Dutch city, so that it can move those services if need be.

“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 July, sources already told the Financial Times that MUFG could move hundreds of its 2,100 London employees to the Dutch capital.

A spokesperson for the bank said on Wednesday, however, that "significantly fewer than 100 staff" will be employed by the new subsidiary and that London would remain MUFG's headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Amsterdam is already home to MUFG’s retail and corporate banking operations.

Other major investment banks with global operations have already vowed to expand their workforces in European cities, including Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin, to ensure seamless service whatever the post-Brexit arrangement.

While there is still a chance that a deal is struck, allowing banks in the UK to seamlessly continue servicing clients across the EU and the rest of the world after Brexit, many have for months been preparing for the worst.