RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Korea

Korean banks to maintain London operations despite Brexit: report

Reports noted that banks considered Frankfurt for their new locations amidst Brexit fears.

Four major Korean banks including Shinhan Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, KEB Hana Bank and Woori Bank will keep their London branches despite looming concerns over the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, reports The Korea Times.

Banks have been reportedly considering relocations from their London branches to other European cities such as Frankfurt amidst the fears over the looming Brexit set on 29 March.

With the exception of KB Kookmin, all three Korean banks have Frankfurt subsidiaries.

However, this does not appear to be the case with Korea’s major banking players who still hold London’s financial hub status in very high regard.

“Our London branch does not have any issue," a spokesperson from Shinhan bank said.

Meanwhile, KB Kookmin Bank noted that it is not considering relocating its London branch, which opened in May 2018. The said branch was transformed from a London subsidiary so that the bank could extend more lines of credit in accordance with the UK regulations on capital buffers.

Reports also suggested that local non-banks such as KB Securities reconsidered target acquisitions in London amidst the Brexit.

"Like any other potential deals, KB Securities received a proposal to buy a building there, and it looked at the proposal, and that was it. It did not even pursue the deal. The news saying the company dropped it during negotiations because of Brexit is absolutely false," a KB Securities spokesman said.  

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