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Revolut is in talks to move its headquarters to one of Canary Wharf’s most prominent buildings, in what would be a vote of confidence for the London business district as it contends with higher vacancy rates and the loss of one of its flagship tenants, HSBC.
The fintech is in negotiations to take 113,000 sq ft of space at the 14-storey YY building in the Docklands — formerly the headquarters of media group Thomson Reuters, famous for the stock market ticker wrapped around it — after the lease on its current headquarters comes to an end next year, according to people familiar with the talks.
“Revolut continues to grow and expand,” the company said. “We are currently reviewing our London office options but no decision has yet been made.”
Although Revolut is already based in Canary Wharf, having moved to its current headquarters at 7 Westferry Circus in 2018, a move to the YY building would put it at the centre of the estate.
The talks, which were first reported by CoStar news, come at a challenging time for Canary Wharf, which is suffering from higher vacancies as companies downsize in response to hybrid working patterns. The business district has also been hit by the departures of some of its most high-profile tenants. HSBC said in June said it would move out of the estate by 2026.
Office vacancy rates in the Docklands are higher than in other London districts at 14 per cent, compared with 11 per cent in the City and 6 per cent in the West End, according to CoStar data from October.
Last month the owners of Canary Wharf, private equity group Brookfield and the Qatar Investment Authority, announced a capital injection of £400mn into the estate as it seeks to renew itself and attract new tenants.
Revolut, which was founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, is one of Britain’s most valuable fintechs and employs more than 1,000 staff in the UK and about 6,000 people globally.
The YY building, built in 1991, was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox for the Canary Wharf Group and became an architectural landmark of the financial district.
Real estate fund manager Quadrant and investor Oaktree Capital Management secured planning permission in 2020 to refurbish it and improve its environmental credentials. The building is being reworked by Buckley Gray Yeoman and is set to reopen in June with a new facade, café, restaurant and a rooftop garden.
Quadrant and Oaktree declined to comment.