Another $100 million up in smoke

Anybody home?

Anybody home?

RBS moving out of Stamford, along with UBS.

RBS executives told reporters in the United Kingdom that the bank is reviewing the need for its Stamford operation, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, part of its plan to “significantly” scale back its U.S. investment banking operations. RBS maintains a large office and trading floor in Stamford it built with $100 million in state assistance, consolidating operations there in 2010 from its former RBS Greenwich Capital building on Greenwich Harbor and from New York City.

The reporter for this story claims that the abandoned building will be a gift to Stamford from Connecticut taxpayers, but given the source of Connecticut’s funding, it’s really a gift from Greenwich to Stamford and from Stamford to itself. When UBS flees, just ahead of RBS, Stamford will have 1,600,000 sq.ft. of  additional vacant office space to fill, built with our tax dollars. Such a deal.


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46 responses to “Another $100 million up in smoke

  1. weakleyhollow

    Runaway shop law, anyone? Catch me if you can. God bless the Peoples Republic of Connecticut. 🙂

  2. Cos Cobber


    More stess for Malloy’s budget ahead.

    Thank you frank-dodd.

    • AJ

      And I’m sure you were a big supporter of the $100 million for RBS much in the same way you are for more of the same with regard to Bridgewater, a deal that, thank God, never happened but still cost Connecticut taxpayers $16 million. What’s in it for the taxpayer: giving a $100 million to a wealthy corporation: stealing from the poor and the middle class to give to the rich? Oh, that’s right, jobs and tax revenue. Well, you can see how well that worked out. Kiss your $100 million goodbye. Guess you can blame that one on Republican Governor Rell, not Dodd-Frank. Seeing as how they moved in in 2010 and Dodd-Frank was signed into law in 2010, you’d think that it was figured into their business model.

      Oh, that terrible Dodd-Frank. Even with being able to create money out of thin air, the Banksters still can’t cut it without reaching into taxpayers’ pockets. They want to be unregulated but have their huge bets on bets, backed-by-nothing losses covered to the tune of hundreds of trillions of dollars by taxpayers. What kind of shit is that? It’s certainly not laissez-faire.

      • Cos Cobber

        I haven’t the desire, time or energy to pick apart your statements. Not going to waste time with a crazy man alone in a cabin in the woods. Best, CC

      • Anonymous

        The income and biz taxes collected by the state of CT from the folks that have worked there since the building opened have, in all likelihood, far exceeded $100MM. Plus the revenue multiplier for all ancillary local businesses, and even the MTA (hundreds upon hundreds doing the reverse commute). Those office jobs most certainly would have gone to NY or NJ had that building not been built.

      • AJ

        So if you liked the RBS deal, you’re going to love the Byram pool and all the jobs and all the income and business taxes that are generated by that project.

        • GreenITCH

          Well as you say that CF , if you had 2100 employees , and average compensation is $ 150 000 ( and yes anyone from a trader to secretary – so I think that figure is low ) and half the people reside in Ct …comes to a bit over $ 10m a year ?

  3. Anonymous

    I heard Costco had approached UBS.

  4. Call It Like I See It

    I believe the benefit went to the RBS common stock shareholders, and they built a building that will be either rented or sold. Either way we have more commercial space on the market that will take years to be absorbed.

  5. Anonymous

    Lockwood and Meade could get a good deal on the RBS space.

  6. Anonymous

    RBS may sell it for less than they paid for it but they are not abandoning it.

  7. Walt

    Dude –

    So all you can think about is how much did this INCOMPETENT political “decision” – read that kickback – cost YOU!! How much will this hurt dirt prices? A LOT!! And how will that HURT YOU!!

    Don’t you ever think of others, you self-centered, balloon headed little EGOMANIAC!!

    Do you ever thing of others? Do you ever think of the bigger picture? NO!! JUST YOU YOU YOU!! You sicken me.

    What will this do to the Greenwich cultural scene? That’s a big Greenwich selling point. We MAY LOSE OUR NUDE BALLET!! This could be devastating to Beamers!! DID YOU EVEN THINK OF THAT? Of course not, you selfish little cretin.


    Perhaps we should stop in tomorrow for a civilized Box Lunch Special, and console them in their time of need? Help them with alternative career planning? Teach them the right and wrong way to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace? I will teach them the wrong way, and you can take the right way. That’s only fair because it was my idea.

    Pick me up at noon. You loser.
    Your Pal,

  8. Anonymous

    UBS is not leaving Stamford.

    • PresterJohn

      They left a long time ago. Now the state counts anyone walking by as an employee…the place is a modern ghost town. Connecticut’s version of Chernobayl.

    • GreenITCH

      Anon 9.40pm …Wrong … first whereas UBS had operations in NYC and has now moved all trading and front office into building space they had leased in the city … RBS has very little .. some satellite offices here in NYC for mobile work stations etc … and additionally UBS moving operations support back from India and along with current Stamford jobs moving the down to Nashville …,-TN-jobs.html

      • And UBS is moving back to New York. In fact, I have a friend who worked there as an in-house building supervisor, and he tells me that one of his staff’s jobs over the past few years was to erect partition and walls to hide all the emptying space.

        • Cos Cobber

          On UBS, my people tell me there is a strong resistance among many mid level people on returning everything to NY. Many have no desire to start the train commute again. They say no matter what, UBS will always have some sort of presence in Stamford when that lease runs out in [2017?]. A smaller space – but something. Who knows with RBS – maybe the same end result in 5 years.

        • UBS just did another small consolidation, moving IT jobs to Weehawken, NJ. Since almost no one wants to go from CT to Weehawken, they are losing their jobs.

      • Anon58

        Didn’t UBS get some nice taxpayer-funded payola from that serial crook, Johnny Rowland?

  9. expansion room for a rallying PB?

  10. Anonymous

    Let’s get the facts correct. RBS did not get a cash payment of $100mm. RBS reduced their CT tax bill by $100mm over a 7 year period by use of tax credits granted as incentive to build in state and partially relocate in the first place. Part of their operations were already in Connecticut, i.e. Greenwich Capital Markets. The rest were in New York and Massachusets comprising the RBS commercial banking business, the ABN Amro businesses and parts of Citizens Bank. The site on which they built had nothing there and it is highly unlikely any business would have developed the site on that scale without tax credits. Over the 7 year period RBS has been a net payer of taxes and at least for 7 years brought a lot of jobs to Stamford. The Bridgewater situation is a little different because they are already 100% in state and they need to move out of their current space anyway. RBS could have gone to New York.

    The reason why RBS is downsizing is because (I) their 80% shareholder the UK government is forcing them to downscale their overseas operations including selling Citizens Bank and (II) the investment banking business is generally doing poorly regardless.

    • Publius

      I would appreciate it if you can share your data on what you have stated. As in “Where can I go to get this data?”

      At first blush “brought a lot of jobs to Stamford” seems a little broad, unless you can document that those new jobs were taken by people who did not live in the state and became CT residents to take the job. People from NY taking these jobs is just a shift between states and non resident income tax filers can receive credits for taxes paid to other taxing entities or can allocate their days worked in the non resident state to reduce their tax burden compared to a resident. The full bore of CT personal income taxes can be blunted with some basic tax planning for non-residents.

      The argument that they could have gone to NY or NJ would need to be based on the net to the state of CT. This argument is often used to justify the giveaways, but I suspect that when you add up credits given versus taxes paid, it is a net losing proposition and in that case, it would be better if the jobs went to NY or NJ. The notion that “You can make it up on volume” doesn’t work here. This data is hard to come by in my experience becuase the states don’t wnat you to know who bad it is. This is an issue in NYS right night with the Empire State Development Corp refusing to release data on their big program that they have been touting in the media (tv ads). The take on this program is that it is a huge boondoggle (NYS is particularly corrupt), hence the non disclosure

      No one seems to grasp the basic tenet that the role of the state regarding “business development” is to make the state a business friendly low cost (taxes + regulation) place to be. In that way you do not get involved in picking winners or losers, but are open to business for a diversified pool of employers.CT made a big bet on the migration of financial firms to the state. In the short run it may have been a net positive but longer term, I don’t think so.

      • Anonymous

        I agree with most of your comments. I just wanted to point out that RBS did not receive a cash payment from the state and would probably not have spent over $300mm developing the site in the first place without the incentives. I believe that RBS was still a net payer of taxes since the relocation but I am not able to substantiate this with hard links.

      • The idiocy of these tax credit programs infuriates me. If lower taxes will attract businesses, keep them in the state and increase revenue, then why not lower the corporate tax for businesses already here?

        • Publius

          That is too logical and eliminates a key talking point used by politicians as in “We are investing in and promoting job growth”. Outcomes don’t matter it is only the inputs that count…..

        • Because doing it on a case by case basis results in less tax revenue reduction that lowering taxes across the board would even if it is a failing strategy in the long run. Illinois is probably the worst offender for this. They have very high corporate tax rates and whenever a large employee threatens to leave they offer them huge tax credits to stay. Small to medium sized employers get nothing and the leave. It’s all about feeding the beast and keeping the state employees happy.

        • Anonymous

          insufficient opportunities for graft and cronyism.

    • Anonymous

      At tax credit of $100mm is the same as paying taxes in full and then having the government write you a check for $100mm.

      • Anonymous

        Of course but this only works if RBS was a captive taxpayer who had to be in state. They relocated substantial operations from New York and Massachusets so the tax bill would not have been $100mm in the first place without the relocation.

    • Anonymous

      And Dodd Frank is one of the primary reasons why the Investment Banking business is doing poorly.

      • Anon58

        And I guess we should go back to the halcyon days of 2007-2008 when everyone’s 401(k) dropped by 40% thanks to a bunch of crooks in the financial services industry. The geniuses in a specialty financial services area of my own company used their expertise to wipe out $12 billion of our company’s value in a very short period of time.

        • Cos Cobber

          i’m not necessarily saying we should go back – just pointing out this is part of the medicine….real job losses which affect the local economy and the state budget.

  11. Matt

    I am selfishly looking forward to driving home on I-95 without dealing with the backups created around exits 7-6 by all of the people leaving these two buildings and all trying to merge onto the highway at once to drive back to NY.

  12. Anonymous

    Select Connecticut and you can see the full list of tax incentives granted.

  13. Anonymous

    Glad I didn’t buy a house in Old Greenwich or Riverside in the last year.

    • Accolay

      I would think these places are more driven by NY money than Stamford money. Anything past Fairfield might be more dependent on CT, but I’d say Greenwich prices are more closely tied to NY.

      • Anonymous

        Nah, lots of people live in Greenwich and work in Stamford, esp at UBS/RBS et al.

        • Anonymous

          yup. they started letting folks go quietly and not so quietly last spring. some are actually quite happy to not have to do the reverse commute, or at least those that I know are, since they found other gigs (in nyc).