Bonus cap forces Brexit banks to shun Amsterdam

The Zuidas business district is still busy in the evening. Photo:

Amsterdam has little chance of attracting foreign financial institutions which are leaving London for the continent ahead of Brexit because of the rigid cap on bonuses in the Netherlands, according to the Financieele Dagblad on Monday.

The paper says banks abandoning London because of Britain’s impending departure from the EU fear they will lose talent to the competition because of the bonus cap and the prevailing attitude in the Netherlands that bankers are ‘greedy’.

‘This is to be expected,’ said Amsterdam alderman for economic affairs Kajsa Ollongren. ‘The Netherlands caps bonuses to 20% of base salary while most other EU countries limits it to 100% of annual pay. If that’s the reason Brexit banks stay away from Amsterdam then we must accept it.’

Two weeks ago US investment bank JPMorgan Chase announced it was moving its European headquarters to Frankfurt, saying the bonus cap was an important reason not to consider Amsterdam.

British bank Standard Chartered and the Japanese bank Nomura are also relocating their European headquarters to the German financial centre. HSBC opted for Paris, while Bank of America is opening an office in Dublin.

Last year, 157 companies opened an office in Amsterdam, with a combined workforce of 3,312.

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