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Nomura will slash London jobs amid Brexit uncertainty

Koji Nagai, chief executive officer of Nomura Holdings Inc., speaks during an interview in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The bulk of significant job cuts hitting Japan's Nomura Holdings (NMR) will affect London as the bank seeks to address Brexit uncertainty, CEO Koji Nagai told the Financial Times Friday.

“It seems possible that it’s going to take a long time for the situation to normalise, so at this moment we see no point in keeping that kind of significant presence over there in London,” Nagai said.

Earlier this month, Nomura announced an overhaul plan to cut $1bn, as well as close more than 30 of its 156 retail branches. Nagai told the FT that this plan was partly in response to Brexit and the multi-year uncertainty that’s followed the June 2016 vote.

Reuters previously reported that the bank plans to cut about 100 jobs in London, which is home to Nomura’s European banking business.

FT sources in both Tokyo and London confirmed that Nomura could axe about 350 jobs globally as part of this plan, with most of those losses impacting UK staff. Dozens of jobs around the globe have already been cut as part of the plan.

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Last year, Nagai announced the end of London’s status as Nomura’s global wholesale hub. He cut about 50 London-based jobs in July 2018 and said at the end of the year that the region’s 3,000-person workforce may be “a little large,”

Nagai confirmed on Friday that Nomura is not looking to partner with a commercial bank. This model has proven popular since the global financial crash and Japan's biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, currently has an alliance with Morgan Stanley.

"We can do a deal with any partner if we make the effort. We don't belong to any banking group and that is our strength," Nagai told Reuters in an interview.

Nagai, Nomura’s longest-serving CEO in more than 30 years, indicated that he may step down before the three-year overhaul is completed, according to Bloomberg.

After months of intense pressure to push Brexit through by its original date of 29 March, the UK government and the EU agreed to a new exit date of 31 October. It remains unclear what shape Brexit will take, or what impact it could have on the British, European, and global economies.