Brexit may cost 400 Lon­don jobs

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES -

FRANCE’S So­ciété Générale could move 400 cor­po­rate and investment bank­ing jobs from Lon­don as part of its Brexit plans, with most of them go­ing to Paris, the chief ex­ec­u­tive Frédéric Oudea said. “At this stage, it seems quite clear that it will be nec­es­sary to re­lo­cate a cer­tain num­ber of jobs to the eu­ro­zone,” Oudea said on the side­lines of a con­fer­ence in Paris, at­tended by French prime min­is­ter Édouard Philippe and bank­ing ex­ec­u­tives from JP Mor­gan, HSBC, BNP Paribas and Amundi. Oudea said the pos­si­ble move of jobs af­ter Brexit would af­fect 300 to 400 investment bank­ing jobs out of 2 000 it has over­all for that busi­ness in Lon­don. The new French govern­ment has stepped up ef­forts to at­tract Lon­don banks to Paris af­ter Brexit, pledg­ing to cut labour costs and en­sure they do not face tougher reg­u­la­tions than Euro­pean ri­vals. It also aims to trans­form the French cap­i­tal into Europe’s new top fi­nan­cial cen­tre, Prime Min­is­ter Édouard Philippe said yes­ter­day. “In this sce­nario, in the light of the de­ci­sions taken by the govern­ment, we will con­cen­trate the re­lo­ca­tions in France,” added Oudea. Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron, a for­mer investment banker, has a hard task to con­vince the investment com­mu­nity that France does not see the fi­nan­cial sec­tor as an “en­emy” – a phrase once used by for­mer so­cial­ist Pres­i­dent François Hol­lande. “We look at the de­ci­sions that mark a very clear change in the po­si­tion,” Oudea said. “When the govern­ment says… it con­sid­ers it (finance) is the im­por­tant eco­nomic sec­tor, a sec­tor of ex­cel­lence for France, and that this govern­ment wants to en­cour­age finance.” French banks said Brexit was not a big is­sue for them, given that they had Paris trad­ing hubs and all the nec­es­sary li­cences to op­er­ate in the re­gion. BNP Paribas may move up to 300 Lon­don investment bank staff due to Bri­tain’s exit from the EU, de­pend­ing on how clients adapt and on the French bank’s ef­forts to win new Bri­tish busi­ness, a source said in May. – Reuters

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