CS Canary Wharf Office: Twists and Turns

1 Cabot Square, London

1 Cabot Square, London

One of the many stories emerging after the British decision to leave the European Union centers around one of the landmark buildings in Canary Wharf – the home of the Credit Suisse Investment Bank.

Credit Suisse (CS), Switzerland's No. 2, has never been shy to display its financial muscle in the City: the institute's investment bankers for the past 25 years have plied their trade on One Cabot Square, the white marble monument in Canary Wharf. But for all their pride, the bank hasn't owned the building for years.

Sell – Not Sell – ?

The Swiss bank sold the skyscraper in 2012 to Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), one of the big investors, retaining the right to rent the building through 2032.

By then, of course, owner and user may no longer be the same as today. The Qataris had to put the building up for sale again at the beginning of the year after the oil price kept falling, putting a squeeze on its revenue. QIA wanted about 450 million pounds for the prime estate, having once paid 325 million for the building, according to the «Evening Standard» newspaper.

Investment Banking Cutbacks

The difficult situation arising for the City following the decision by British voters seems to have put a damper on the fund's plans again. The Qatari have reversed their plan to sell the 50,000 square meters of office floor, according to a report by «Bloomberg». It is not clear whether this is a direct consequence of the Brexit, because there was at least one interested buyer left, according to the story.

Obviously, nobody knows now how much space CS will need at One Cabot Square. The bank has already cut back its investment banking activities in favor of wealth management and London has been one of the branches to suffer from the cull.

And Brexit won't make life any easier for the London-based units and their staff.

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