Paris to redouble efforts to attract Brexit banks after Macron win

Mon May 8, 2017 6:18am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Anjuli Davies and Maya Nikolaeva

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election and his plans to swiftly implement structural reforms is a boon for Paris in its efforts to attract banks and other financial service companies seeking to move operations out of Britain, the head of lobbying group Paris Europlace said on Monday.

Britain's decision to leave the European Union has opened up fierce competition among financial centers elsewhere in the bloc, including Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and Luxembourg, to attract banks and other financial companies seeking to secure continued access to the single market once Britain leaves.

Hitherto bankers have been skeptical that France can attract much of the UK financial industry, with high labor costs and a frequently changing tax system seen as major deterrents.

"Macron's win is a sign that France is on the road to implement more structural reforms that are needed," Arnaud de Bresson, chief executive of Paris Europlace, told Reuters, estimating that Paris could attract 20,000 workers from Britain.

"Macron will personally make it his mission to convince the international banks as well as investors of the benefits of Paris," he added.

The new president is promising to overhaul the labor market and simplify the French tax and pension systems, while paring back regulations he says hamper innovation. But there is a lot of uncertainty about the likely pace of reforms, which could take months or even years to implement.

"Macron's victory will spur a redoubling in the sales pitch for Paris. They are going to go all out," a banking source at an international bank said.

A delegation from Paris Europlace, together with Christian Noyer, the former French central bank governor, will travel to the United States on May 22 and May 23 to try to persuade the financial industry there to choose Paris as their European base.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: The financial district of La Defense is seen at dusk near Paris, France, January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann