Brexit – Back to Back, Intercompany trading – Nothing New

Back to Back or Intercompany trading as it’s also referred to. There has been much recent talk that firms will start to use this as a means to reduce the amount of jobs potentially moving out of London. To be honest, its always been the case and forms part of so many structures in trading its was always going to remain and be apart of the future.

One large investment bank a number of us previously worked at had over 700 companies / entities across global jurisdictions within its group. It used the most appropriate to facilitate the trading structure and deal within the laws and regulations around the world.

Job’s may well move, but this really can be kept to a minimum if the firms wish to subject to licences, operational and other non-trading activities will and will continue to move around the globe as technology and cost efficiencies dictate and facilitate. This isn’t specifically a Brexit thing.

…So when a week ago UBS became the first big bank to come out with an upbeat view on Brexit when it became clear that the Swiss bank now planned to move only 250 or so jobs from London to an EU location many thought things had changed given it and many other firms had previously sounded alarm bells over the large numbers of people potentially leaving London. No not really, this was always what they all wanted, remember UK employment law is preferable to European employment law when it come to the hours worked and other factors within this sector.

There are caveats of course as implied by a recent opinion paper on post-Brexit bank structures published by the European Banking Authority. The EBA said banks “may use back-to-back transactions or intragroup transactions to transfer a part of the risks to a non-EU/EEA entity”, although it cautioned that local operations must not be “empty shell” units and the scale of transactions involved must not be excessive. But the facility is there, it always has been and simply needs to be configured to adapt accordingly.