Royal Bank of Scotland is considering Amsterdam as post-Brexit European HQ: FD

Royal Bank of Scotland is stepping up plans to settle its post-Brexit European headquarters in Amsterdam’s prime Zuidas financial district, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

The British bank has already rented office space in ‘The Rock’ building in the area with room for 150 staff and last August, RBS said the Zuidas was the preferred location for its European HQ, the paper points out. RBS previously maintained offices nearby when it acquired ABN Amro with partners Fortis and Santander.

RBS decided to pull out of most of its European operations after the 2008 financial crisis. This left only the former Zuidas office and a subsidiary, NatWest Markets, in the city centre. The new European HQ will operate under that name, the FD says.

NatWest Markets is RBS’s commercial bank which finances businesses and trades in bonds and currencies for financial institutions, institutional investors and corporations. Part of the150 staff who will be based inĀ  Amsterdam will transfer from London, others will be recruited elsewhere in Europe.

RBS needs a post-Brexit European base in order to continue offering its financial services, so-called passport rights, in continental Europe. But the bank is not making a definite move to Amsterdam until more details are known abut the terms of Brexit, the FD said.

RBS will be one of the few banks in London opting to settle its European headquarters in Amsterdam. British bankers shy away from the Dutch capital because of the 20% of annual pay bonus cap which is in sharp contrast to the 100% cap prevailing in the rest of Europe.

Most British banks are opting post-Brexit for Frankfurt which is also the home of the European central bank.

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