Goldman Sachs is building a fancy new building in London. JPMorgan, maybe, isn't.
While Goldman Sachs goes ahead with the construction of its new £1bn London 'banking factory' (which seems to resemble a giant white potty), the Times reports that JPMorgan is getting ready to sell Riverside South, the Canary Wharf site upon which it once planned to build a giant £1.5bn new European headquarters. If the Times is right, JPMorgan's London staff will have to stay at 25 Bank Street, the ex-Lehman Brothers building acquired by the firm for a mere £495m in 2010.
There's more than pride at stake. JPMorgan's alleged plan to sell Riverside South suggests that it might not be doing as much hiring as it once planned. The Riverside South development was going to span 2.4m square feet, according to Reuters. By comparison, the Lehman building is a mere 1m. That's quite a few fewer desks.
While JPMorgan's London staff squeeze into their recycled Lehman building, Goldman's bankers can look forward to moving into the bank's fancy new Farringdon premises sometime in 2017-2018.
JPMorgan declined to comment on the claims that the Riverside plot is being sold on. However, JPM insiders pointed out that they're more than happy at the Lehman Brothers building which was redeveloped specially for JPM a few years ago and is - coincidentally - exactly the same size as Goldman's new place in the City anyhow.