Japanese bank Sumitomo ignores Brexit to sign a 20-year lease on a new London office

Oscar Williams-Grut
British Land 100 Liverpool Street

British Land

  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe signs a 20-year lease for 160,000 square foot of space in central London.
  • British Land: "A strong endorsement of London as a global city."

LONDON — Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe has signed a 20-year lease on 160,000 square foot of space in central London.

British Land, which is leading the development of the 100 Liverpool Street building, announced the deal on Tuesday. Sumitomo is taking three floors in the development, which is in London's financial district. The office is due to be completed in 2020.

Tim Roberts, head of offices at British Land, said in a statement: "SMBCE’s decision to invest in Broadgate for the long term is not only a strong endorsement of London as a global city which remains attractive to international organisations as a place to do business but of the wider campus and 100 Liverpool Street."

Sumitomo's commitment is a boost to London's ambitions to remain a global financial centre post-Brexit. There are concerns that thousands of finance jobs could be lost post-Brexit if the UK loses passporting rights, which allow companies to sell services across the EU from Britain.

JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are among the employers who have been vocal about the risks posed and have been eyeing offices in locations like Paris and Dublin. Sumitomo itself was said to have taken space in Frankfurt last year. The German city's financial industry is expected to get a boost from Brexit.

However, other international employers based in the UK have reaffirmed their commitments in the wake of Brexit. Wells Fargo spent £300 million on a new London headquarters just a month after Brexit and US bank Citi announced this week that it is establishing an innovation centre in the UK capital.

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