In a bid to save money and reduce outgoing costs, London banks are looking to reduce their top quality office space in the capital.
A report by Cushman and Wakefield used the term ‘significant contraction’ in reference to the upcoming downsize of banking office space in London – a necessity that will be forced upon many banks by the Basel III rules.
Over 100 banks and finance firms were surveyed; one third would cut space in 12 months and a further 54% were found to be ‘very likely’ to sublet.
Of these, the Bank of America is considering relocating staff back to their Chester campus, Citigroup is bolstering its presence in Belfast and Credit Suisse has already sold and leased back its Canary Wharf offices to Qatar-based investors.
“How times have changed,” says Simon Wainwright of J Peiser Wainwright. “NatWest built a skyscraper in the shape of its logo, and the words ‘Midland Bank’ are still emblazoned in stone on its former London building.
“The psychology was different when banks did these sorts of things. They thought they would be around forever.”