Paris prepares incentives to attract finance jobs from London

Wed Jul 6, 2016 6:54am EDT
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By Leigh Thomas

PARIS (Reuters) - The French government will outline incentives on Wednesday to make Paris a more attractive financial center, officials said, as the French capital seeks to win finance jobs from London for a post-Brexit era.

France's financial sector has often complained of government ambivalence towards the industry, which is subject to high taxes and sometimes hostile remarks from politicians.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has made a snap decision to appear at the annual conference of the French financial industry's lobby, Paris Europlace, later on Wednesday -- a rare visit to the event by a high-ranking member of the government.

"We will do more in the future to enhance the attractiveness of the Paris financial center: the government will do its part," Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said in a speech to the conference.

Seeing an opportunity in Britain's June 23 referendum vote to quit the EU, the lobby has called for more favorable terms for expats in France. It also wants a cut in the tax on financial workers which is levied in France to compensate for the absence of value-added tax on the sector.

Though often neglected in the past, their proposals are no longer falling on deaf ears. President Francois Hollande said last week tax regulations needed to be adapted to make Paris more attractive and Finance Minister Michel Sapin hinted that taxation of expats could be made even more favorable.

During his election campaign in 2012, Hollande called the banking industry his enemy.

Expats coming to France and French nationals who return home after five years or more abroad already benefit from a range of tax breaks for five years after their arrival.   Continued...

The Eiffel Tower is seen in silhouette at sunset on a winter day in Paris, France, January 15, 2016.    REUTERS/Charles Platiau