Ratings agencies start hiring in Frankfurt before Brexit contingency plans hit

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While investment banks are awaiting regulatory clarity before they start shifting jobs to Continental Europe after Brexit, credit rating agencies are already bolstering their operations in Frankfurt.

Fitch is planning to create 30-40 jobs in Europe - the majority of which will be within its 50-person Frankfurt operation - in advance of regulatory demands, a company spokesperson confirmed. Alongside Frankfurt, Fitch will also be hiring people in Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Stockholm and Warsaw. Meanwhile, Moody's is also preparing to expand its Frankfurt office, according to people on the ground, although it has yet to decide on a firm number of new hires. The new recruits will primarily be analysts.

Fitch currently has around 500 employees in London, but we understand that these roles will be new jobs created in Frankfurt rather than relocated from the UK. One Frankfurt insider said that Moody's initial recruitment is for "regulatory and risk management jobs" and that specialist in this area had already been hoovered up on the ground by a variety of financial services organisations. "They know the market is incredibly tight already," he said.

Standard & Poor's did not respond to requests for information on its hiring plans.

ESMA, the European Securities and Markets Authority, asked S&P, Moody's and Fitch to draw up contingency plans if the UK leaves the European Union single market when it officially leaves the bloc in 2019. The assumption was that they would wait, but recruitment is already underway.

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