Citi warns UK staff of rebalancing across EU in event of Brexit

People walk past a Citibank branch in the City of London November 12, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. bank Citi told its UK staff that it could look to spread its British business across the European Union if the UK voted to leave the bloc, in what would be a blow to London’s financial district.

Campaigners seeking to win a vote for Britain to remain in the EU in a June 23 vote have said the country’s role as a global financial hub could be under threat if it gives up its membership, resulting in job losses.

Citi, which employs 9,000 people Britain, said in a memo to UK staff on Wednesday it was reviewing the situation ahead of the referendum and that a leave vote would likely have implications for its business.

“To continue to serve our clients and maintain efficient access to those markets currently enabled through the EU passporting regime, we would likely need to rebalance our operations across the EU,” wrote Citi’s UK Country Officer James Bardrick.

Citi declined to comment on the memo which was first reported by Sky News.

The Citi comments echo those from U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase earlier in June when CEO Jamie Dimon told British staff a decision to leave the European Union could mean “fewer” jobs with the bank there and more jobs in Europe.

Reporting by Freya Berry, writing by Sarah Young, editing by David Evans