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Goldman, Morgan Stanley deny plans for Frankfurt office switch after Brexit

The logo of Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Goldman Sachs (GS) is seen on the clothing of a trader working at the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, United States April 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. investment banks Goldman Sachs GS.N and Morgan Stanley MS.N have denied speculation they are poised to shift London-based staff and operations to Frankfurt as soon as Britain's divorce proceedings from the European Union formally begin.

“We have not made any changes to our real estate requirements in Frankfurt as a result of the referendum result,” Goldman said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“As we have already communicated to our employees, there is no immediate change to the way we conduct our business or where we conduct our business.”

Echoing its Wall Street rival, Morgan Stanley also moved to quell chatter it was planning to relocate to the German financial hub when the UK government evokes Article 50 -- the first official step in its disentanglement from the 28-nation bloc.

“Morgan Stanley does not have pre-let office space in Frankfurt,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said the bank, a big donor to the defeated ‘Remain’ campaign had planned for either referendum outcome for many months, in a statement issued after the outcome of the historic referendum became clear on Friday.

“Goldman Sachs has a long history of adapting to change, and we will work with relevant authorities as the terms of the exit become clear. Our primary focus, as always, remains serving our clients’ needs.”

Reporting by Sinead Cruise; additional reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Louise Heavens