Revolut has begun talks with Canary Wharf to relocate its headquarters. This would be a significant vote of confidence in the London business district, which is currently facing higher vacancy rates as well as the loss of HSBC, one of its most important tenants.
Fintech firm is in talks to lease 113,000 sq ft at the 14-storey YY Building in Docklands, which was formerly home to Thomson Reuters’ headquarters, and famous for its stock ticker. The current lease expires next year.
The company stated that “Revolut is continuing to grow and expand.” We are reviewing the options for our London office but have not yet made a decision.
Revolut already has a base in Canary Wharf. It moved to its current headquarters in 2018 at 7 Westferry Circus. A move to the YY Building would place it in the heart of the estate.
The first to report the talks was CoStar News. They come at a difficult time for Canary Wharf. It is experiencing a rise in vacancies due to companies downsizing as a result of hybrid working patterns. The district’s business district was also hit by the departure of some of its highest-profile tenants. HSBC announced in June that it would leave the estate by 2026.
According to CoStar October data, the Docklands has a higher office vacancy rate than other London districts, at 14%, compared to only 6% in the West End and just 9% in the City.
Last month, the owners of Canary Wharf – private equity group Brookfield, and Qatar Investment Authority – announced an injection of £400mn in the estate to help it renew itself and attract tenants.
Revolut was founded by Nikolay Storonsky in 2015 and Vlad Yatsenko. It is now one of Britain’s largest fintechs, employing more than 1,000 people in the UK, and around 6,000 worldwide.
The YY Building, designed by Kohn, Pedersen, Fox in 1991 for Canary Wharf Group, became an architectural landmark within the financial district.
Quadrant Real Estate Fund and Oaktree Capital Management, a real estate investor and fund manager, secured planning approval in 2020 for the refurbishment of this building and to improve its environmental credentials. Buckley Gray Yeoman reworked the building and it reopened with a new façade, cafe, rooftop garden, and restaurant in June.