What do expat French bankers in London think of Boris?

Published:  26 Jul at 6 PM
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What do French expat professionals in the UK banking sector think of Boris?

Dramatic political moves based on manipulation tend to cause major disruption within expat communities, but the election of Johnson as UK prime minister comes at a time when millions of EU and UK expats are desperately hoping common sense will prevail. In London, the French expat community is strong and mostly working in finance, with French bankers in the front line should the dreaded no-deal become a reality.

One brave expat-aimed website dared to approach French bankers and request their opinion of their adopted country’s decision to trust the next three months or so to a self-opinionated, totally inexperienced candidate known for his lies and extravagant statements. Being faced at this stage in Brexit with a committed Brexiteer as the prime political power of your adopted country can’t be much fun, especially if the guy bears a striking resemblance in manner and appearance to his much-hated counterpart in the USA.

The capital’s French banker community is large, rightly opinionated and probably none too happy about the present chaos, or so it seemed. However, one French banker surprised his interviewer by saying it’s all about the money. Speaking anonymously, he said his expat friends and colleagues would be more than happy to see the pound rising against the euro, as it gives them more home country cash to splash on their visits to Paris. Pay, it seems, is all that’s important.

Another French banker has slightly different views, again expressed anonymously. Boris, he believes, is pro-City and business, but his anti-immigration stance won’t impress the City as it’s used to recruiting the brightest and best from across the world. Given that a number of foreign banks are moving out of the UK and back to Europe, he said, it’s possible a good number of finance professionals will follow suit, especially if requirements for long-stay documents are tightened up.

As regards would-be UK expats still desperate to get to Europe before its doors shut in their faces, a rally in the pound would help a lot, but isn’t seen as likely in the short, or maybe even in the longer, term.
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