What Brexit? Top Dutch bank moves traders to London

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The Hague (AFP)

Dutch top bank ING said Friday it is moving dozens of trading jobs to London, defying expectations of an exodus of financial sector professionals from Britain because of Brexit.

An ING spokeswoman said 60 jobs would be moved from Amsterdam and Brussels to the City of London to join its corporate finance banking team of 650 people already working there, creating a single unit.

"It makes more sense to regroup functions that belong together," spokeswoman Carolien van der Giessen told AFP, adding that ING will deal with the consequences of Britain's departure from the EU when its modalities become clear.

"Even if Brexit has important consequences, they are currently very difficult to envisage. When the time comes, we'll see what we can do," she said.

In the meantime, the City of London remains attractive because of "a great pool of talent", she said.

The EU has warned Britain that it will not allow Britain to cling to advantages for its financial industry while blocking free movement of labour in the wake of Brexit.

London's financial district has benefited from Britain's EU membership as a foothold in the single market for British and non-EU banks.

Huge volumes of euro-denominated trade pass through Britain thanks to so-called "passporting" rules, which allow the UK to host transactions in the single currency despite not itself being a part of the eurozone.

But in the wake of the nation's June 23 vote to quit the European Union, that access may be under threat.

Several major players in the sector, including US giant JP Morgan and Swiss UBS, have warned that thousands of jobs could leave the "Square Mile" financial district for the continent if that happens.