French government woos London bankers with tax proposals

Hayley Kirton
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Eiffel Tower
The French government wants Paris to be the city of choice for banking (Source: Getty)

French may well be the language of love for London’s worried bankers, after France's Prime Minister yesterday promised more favourable tax terms for expats.

Many in the financial sector have been concerned that London could lose its passporting rights – and, with them, rights to do business with the EU member states – as part of Brexit. It is feared that this could in turn cause many in the sector to move some of their operations overseas.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has picked up on that sentiment, telling the annual conference of France's financial industry lobby Europlace that he would do more to make Paris a competitive financial capital.

According to Reuters, Valls said: "We want to build the financial capital of the future. In a word, now is the time to come to France."

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Valerie Pecresse, head of the wider Paris region, added: "We are not in a war with London... but there is competition and we want to make Paris Europe's top financial centre."

Included among the proposals is an increase to the time period for already generous tax terms for expatriates and French nationals returning from stints overseas from the first five years in the country to the first eight.

France's dreams of winning of London bankers have roots in reality. Months before the EU referendum even took place, HSBC warned that it could move as many 1,000 jobs to Paris if the UK could not secure favourable passporting rights as part of its EU exit deal.

And, a few weeks before the vote took place, JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon warned that it too would likely have to move UK jobs to elsewhere in Europe following Brexit.

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