EDINBURGH - Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, is in talks to move its European headquarters to Canary Wharf from London's main financial district.
JPMorgan has signed “heads of terms” with Canary Wharf Group to build a new head office at Canary Riverside South, the bank said in an e-mailed statement Friday. It will move London-based employees to Canary Wharf from several existing buildings. Canary Wharf is in east London's dockland area.
The investment bank Friday scrapped plans to build a 90,000 square-meter (969,000 square foot) building at St Alphage in the City of London, U.K. developer Hammerson said in a separate statement. JPMorgan, Hammerson and the City of London Corporation, the local municipality, had been in exclusive talks to develop St Alphage since May last year.
JPMorgan is the latest big U.S. investment bank to move to Canary Wharf, which currently has almost no space to let on the 97-acre estate. According to Canary Wharf's Web site, architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Ltd. are designing a tower with 166,000 square meters of space at Riverside South.
JPMorgan's investment bank employees work out of seven separate buildings in London and the plan is to consolidate them in the new headquarters. The building is due for completion in early 2013, in line with the bank's original timetable for moving into new headquarters, said JPMorgan spokeswoman Kate Cadette.
Cadette declined to say whether the bank intends to buy its new headquarters or lease it from Canary Wharf, which has sold a number of properties to occupiers and investors.
“We are delighted to be negotiating with Canary Wharf for a new building, which we intend to be a premier facility in the heart of a premier financial district,” Bill Winters, co-head of investment banking, said in the statement.