Paris beckons Brit financiers

Published:  10 May at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Jobs, England
Paris in the springtime, as well as for the rest of the year, might well be the favoured post-Brexit destination for British and EU expats working in London’s massive financial services sector.

Given that it’s now well understood in certain circles that Canary Wharf is due to empty out well before Brexit becomes a reality, where’s next for Brit and EU bankers and their support army? The corporate case for Paris has been established for almost a year, with attractive regulatory requirements and even more attractive tax rates, but what’s in the deal for workers forced to relocate out of the UK or lose their remunerative jobs?

So far, at least 30 asset management companies have signed up for new premises in the French capital, with banks such as HSBC Holdings, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and J. Morgan Chase reputed to be already in the market or considering Paris’s advantages for their particular needs. According to trade group TheCityUK, some 70,000 financial sector jobs will be lost to Brexit. For the workers, waving goodbye to frantic days and nights in London and saying bonjour to the French way of doing things just might be the best break they’ve ever had.

Upscale expats who made the move a while ago are optimistic about the effects of a Paris lifestyle on new arrivals from City of London jobs, citing the slower, more cultural pace of life and the easily-reached plethora of Michelin-starred eateries close by their workplaces. Brit financiers used to meeting up in the pub after a hard day’s trading will fall in love with the French city’s choice of laid-back Parisian café culture and, for the few who still feel homesick, there are even replicas of traditional London pubs to be found.

In the workplace, language difficulties are likely to occur due both to the traditional reluctance of the French to speak English and the lack of interest in British schools as regards any other world language. It has to be said that French schools are now making up for their predecessors in English language tuition, and the high number of educated French expats relocating home from English-speaking countries is helping to close the gap, at least in business and finance.

Paris’s main attraction aside from food is its historic culture, shown to perfection in its quaint traditional districts, stunning architecture, and museums, along with endless galleries and markets serving up the best of modern art and design at a price. Furnishing the new pad in Paris has to be a lot more fun than in London.
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