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Michel Sapin, finance minister of France

France woos US banks wanting to leave London post-Brexit

Coming after the Netherlands who has already indicated that it would welcome any financial firms relocating from London after Brexit, France has now rolled out the red carpet to US banks. The French finance minister, Michel Sapin, has just returned from Washington where he met with senior American bankers. According to him, it is no longer a question if they will leave London, but when and for which other jurisdiction.

Published: October 13, 2016, 12:53 pm

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    Paris is the only city in Europe rivalling London as to the size of its economy and centralization of government, business and finance.

    Speaking at a news conference after his US visit, Michel Sapin said: “There will be a transfer of activities to the continent. I don’t know what magnitude and I don’t know exactly what activities, but there will be a transfer of business to the continent. That’s the inevitable consequence whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.”

    Theresa May, the British prime minister, has promised to trigger article 50 of the European Union Treaty by the end of March 2017. Article provides for any EU member to exit from the Union.

    One obstacle in the way of Paris siphoning off London’s lucrative financial trading business, is high French income tax, as well as the French Socialist government’s support for a tax on financial transactions in 10 EU countries.

    However, Michel Sapin has now suggested that France will “fast track” the registration of new firms and will extend tax benefits to expatriate workers.

    dan.roodt@freewestmedia.com

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