J.P. Morgan Chase told about 200 staff Friday to plan to move out of London because it sees little prospect of the U.K. winning a deal on financial services as the nation prepares to exit the European Union.
The biggest U.S. bank is pushing the button on its no-deal Brexit plan because it sees minimal chance of an accord for finance before year-end, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing sensitive information.
J.P. Morgan employees who work in areas including sales and trading will need to sign new contracts and prepare to relocate in time for Jan. 1, the people said. Employees will move to cities including Paris, Frankfurt, Milan and Madrid and be given six months commuting and accommodation support plus help with language courses, the people said.
A spokesman for J.P. Morgan in London declined to comment.
The decision comes as years-long negotiations between London and Brussels turn increasingly acrimonious with Boris Johnson this week labeling Europe negotiators "abusive." Earlier this month Bank of England Gov. Andrew Bailey said securing an agreement on financial services for investment banks wasn't worth pursuing at all costs.
While banks operating in the City of London, including J.P. Morgan, have previously moved staff and established new Europe entities, some are holding out for a deal before making further changes.