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Goldman Sachs eyes further expansion in Germany

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is seeking further expansion in Germany and will move into larger offices in the third quarter, Handelsblatt reported June 3, citing group regional executive Alexandre Traub.

Over the past few months, the U.S. bank has been moving staff from London and other locations to Frankfurt. The transfer will continue and the idea is to grow the German business so it can explore new business opportunities onsite, Traub said in an interview with the DPA news agency, carried by Handelsblatt.

To meet the needs of its growing staff in Germany, Goldman Sachs will move into a new Frankfurt-based office in the third quarter. The new building will have room for up to 700 employees, compared to 250 employed at Goldman Sachs' Frankfurt office now.

The U.S. group is "very confident" in the prospects of the German market, Traub, who heads the German and Austrian securities operations of Goldman Sachs, told the DPA. Goldman Sachs has chosen Frankfurt for its European hub and established a local subsidiary, called Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE, at the beginning of the year.

Traub noted that the move to Germany was decided before Britain's vote to leave the EU. Brexit has certainly been a catalyst but Goldman Sachs had already planned to enhance its Frankfurt-based and other European operations such as its business units in Paris and Milan, according to Traub.

For its European business, Goldman Sachs hopes that the EU will complete its ongoing banking union project soon, harmonize regulation and set a pan-European standard for all banks. He was rather pessimistic in his outlook for the interest rate environment in Europe, saying he does not believe the ECB would veer of its dovish monetary policy regardless of who succeeds ECB President Mario Draghi.