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Citi is preparing for a “hard” Brexit that could force it to relocate jobs from the UK and create a new broker dealer entity in the EU, the bank’s EMEA boss Jim Cowles has told staff.

Mr Cowles wrote to his staff on Thursday morning to update them on the bank’s Brexit planning after the UK formally began the process of leaving the EU on Wednesday.

“For planning purposes, we must assume a “hard” Brexit in which the UK loses its ability to passport into the EU,” Mr Cowles wrote.

“A hard Brexit would require certain changes, including relocating certain client-facing roles to the EU from the UK, and the possible creation of a new broker-dealer entity within the EU.”

He added that the bank, which employs around 9,000 staff in the UK, had been discussing options with both clients and staff.

As we make various decisions, we will share details with you as soon as possible. I can tell you that London will remain both our EMEA headquarters and an important global hub for Citi, and that the changes we are considering are being designed to limit the impact to both our clients and our employees.

Citi already has an on the ground presence in 20 of the 27 EU states, and 58 per cent of its EU workforce is already outside of London. Dublin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam are understood to be on the short list of cities where the bank may expand its presence after Brexit.

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