Citigroup in innovation centre boost to City of London

Citigroup is to set up an innovation centre in London, representing the first major investment by a big US bank since the Brexit vote, according to the Financial Times.

James Cowles, chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) said the new centre would hire 60 technologists for its initial opening.

The centre will be the home of the EMEA unit of Citi ventures and will also host employees from across the range of the firm’s businesses. The move will boost the UK’s financial sector amid uncertainty over its future.

The City of London’s proposals for a post-Brexit free-trade deal on financial services have so far been rejected by officials from the European Commission.

The UK is currently the base for the world’s largest number of banks and home to the largest commercial insurance market. Around €6tn or 37% of Europe’s financial assets are managed in London, almost twice the amount of the closest rival, Paris.

JP Morgan Chase & Co has said it could move 4,000 jobs out of Britain if Brexit negotiations produce a divergence of regulations between the EU and UK. In the short term, up to 1,000 jobs will be moved out of Britain by the bank prior to the UK’s exit from the EU in March 2019.

In September 2017, a Reuters survey found that 10,000 finance jobs would move out of Britain or be created overseas if the UK loses access to the EU single market.