With Brexit holding the European economy in its cold grip of uncertainty, bankers throughout London are wondering into their pints if this is their final spring getting soaked to the bone by unrelenting English rain.
And apparently a few thousand of these ennui-filled finance types are employees of Deutsche Bank. According to Reuters, the bank's chief regulatory officer Sylvie Matherat recently opined that Brexit-related anxiety has her on the edge of reason in trying to plan for an ambiguous future:
"For front office people if you want to deal with EU clients you need to be based in the EU, in continental Europe. Does that mean that I have to move all the front office people to Germany or not?" said Deutsche Bank's Chief Regulatory Officer Sylvie Matherat.
"And we are speaking of 2,000 people – that's not a small number," she told a conference hosted by Frankfurt Main Finance, a group that promotes the German financial capital.
Matherat said that any such move would require the bank to build up its information technology in Frankfurt and would also depend on local regulators' stance on how trillions of euros in future deals should be cleared or processed.
Matherat is describing a logistical nightmare. Pulling thousands of bankers out of London and finding adequate space with up-to-date technical infrastructure is the kind of logic problem that many banks with operations in London are facing. Brexit is a frighteningly disruptive force to the European and global economies, Matherat's personal experience provides a useful window into the realities of this dangerous uncertainty.
Except one thing: Matherat maybe shouldn't be having such a hard time picturing moving her bankers to a place like Frankfurt what with her bank being literally based IN FUCKING FRANKFURT.
Every major global bank is being affected by the possibilities of Brexit, and forcing your talent to transfer sucks. But Deutsche Bank might want to take a powder on whining about moving its poor bankers to Frankfurt lest it offend all of the people working at its global headquarters in the dead center of Frankfurt. Even for the House of Cryan, this feels like a cosmic level of ineptitude.
Is Matherat really telling a room full of people in Frankfurt that Deutsche Bank is concerned about its IT infrastructure in Frankfurt not being up to snuff? That's...interesting. And it's intriguing that Matherat finds German regulators so inscrutable considering that perhaps no bank deals more with German bank regulators than the one whose name translates directly to "German Bank." We guess Matherat showed admirable restraint by not mentioning how ugly the German language feels on the ear.
And Matherat wasn't even done. She apparently went on to fume about the fact that Brexit might even cause Deutsche Bank to even move back office jobs to the city where it technically has its ultimate back office.
She said that some local supervisors also are asking for risk management to be done locally, a demand that would require more jobs to be moved.
"It means another 2000 people. Everybody needs clarity - and the sooner the better." She said the bank had 9,000 staff in Britain.
To make matters even worse, those 9,000 staffers are about to get a dope new London pad...
Despite Deutsche considering such moves, it is likely to retain a large presence in the UK and recently chose a new office for its London headquarters.
We can only presume the new office will be way cooler than whatever hovel Deutsche is operating in Frankfurt. Apparently that shithole barely has internet.