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Frankfurt's Brexit count may grow as BofA looks for EU base

The number of banks that have chosen Frankfurt as their post-Brexit base in continental Europe could grow further as Bank of America Corp. is now said to be considering to set up operations in the German city.

Executives of the U.S. bank are debating about the best location for the European trading business and are split over whether it should be Frankfurt or Paris, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 23.

Over the past two months, some of the largest U.S. and Japanese investment banks named Frankfurt as their pick for EU base following Brexit, in order to retain access to the bloc's single market.

Around 5,000 new jobs could be created in Frankfurt over the next few years, and that number could even double depending on the way the U.K. leaves the EU, Tarek Al-Wazir, Economy Minister of the state of Hesse, said in an interview with Wiesbadener Tagblatt published Aug. 15.

If the U.K. pursued a "hard Brexit" and left the single market without a trade agreement, the number would be higher, he said. He added, though, that the idea of 5,000 London bankers moving to Frankfurt overnight is not realistic.

Banks mostly want to move small teams, Oliver Wagner, spokesman for the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany, or VAB, said in an interview. The VAB expects between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs to be added in Frankfurt over the next few years, but that most of those will probably be local hires.

Frankfurt Main Finance, an organization promoting the city, thinks 1,000 new jobs could be added by year-end, and up to 10,000 added over the next five years.

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