Wealth manager Schroders has made an eleventh-hour decision to shelve a move into one of London's largest empty developments as a result of the global financial crisis, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The company had planned to occupy up to 250,000 square feet of offices in the Walbrook building near the Bank of England in London's City financial district, but the move failed to gain final top-level in-house approval in the last fortnight, one of the sources said.

The deal was one of the largest and most anticipated in London's financial heartland, where there has been a dearth of large office moves as companies think twice before signing for new space amid the euro zone sovereign debt crisis and sluggish economic growth prospects.

They were offered a good deal to move in but when it came to the final decision it was decided now was not the right time, the second source told Reuters.

Schroders, which is located in Gresham Street near Lloyds Banking Group , confirmed it had looked at options for new space in the City but declined to comment on the deal. It would likely put its search for a new office on hold for now, both sources said.

Life will likely remain tough for its intermediary and private banking businesses until a credible resolution to the euro zone crisis is found, Schroders said in a third quarter trading statement last month.

The Walbrook was developed by Minerva and completed in February 2010, but has been empty since then. Debt-laden Minerva agreed terms for a 203 million pound ($318 million) sale to a consortium of investors in June.

Several potential tenants have previously been linked to the site including Spanish bank Santander and financial data provider Bloomberg, which this week submitted plans for a new office scheme next door to the block.

London skyscrapers The Shard, the Pinnacle, the Walkie Talkie, the Cheesegrater and the tower at 100 Bishopsgate are at varying stages of build and have only signed one office deal between them.

Office developer Great Portland Estates is unlikely to secure a major letting to kickstart its planned 100 Bishopsgate scheme for at least six months because of the economic uncertainty, its chief executive told Reuters last month.

(Reporting by Tom Bill; Editing by Andrew Macdonald)