Deutsche Bank has become the first bank to formally consider what it would do if the UK voted to leave the EU.
Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on the UK’s EU membership by the end of 2017.
Deutsche Bank, which employs 9,000 people in Britain, has established a working group to look at the potential impact on its business of the UK withdrawing from the 28-nation bloc.
The working group includes the senior executives of strategy, risk, UK management and research.
According to Deutsche Bank, which has been in the UK since 1873, this group will do “scenario-based planning” on the implications of an EU exit on the bank’s presence in the UK, including whether it would be advantageous for certain activities to be repatriated to the Eurozone, specifically to Germany.
“We are the Eurozone’s second-largest bank based on assets. We have 16 locations in the UK, down from 21 five years ago, with just under 9,000 employees here,” a spokesman said.
“Unlike other banks, our review is not based on the UK banking levy, but on the Brexit potential.”
Last month, it was revealed that HSBC was considering moving its headquarters from London to Hong Kong due to a combination of the banking levy and the fact that the majority of its business is in Asia.
On Monday, British Chambers of Commerce director general John Longworth told the BBC that an in-out referendum should “take place as soon as is practical”.
Mr Longworth said that 55 per cent of his members were in favour of a “reformed Europe”.
The chairman of construction equipment maker JCB also said on Monday that the UK should not fear an exit from the European Union.
“We are the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world. We could exist on our own – peacefully and sensibly,” Lord Bamford told BBC Midlands Today.