French firm Total mulls moving its treasury business to London

City A.M. Reporter
FRENCH oil major Total plans to move its corporate treasury department to London to get closer to analysts covering the company and raise its profile with investors, a spokesman for the group said yesterday.

Total is discussing moving 60 staff from the treasury department to London as well as about 10 people in charge of financial communication, the spokesman said, confirming a report by investigative website Mediapart.

The move is likely to ruffle feathers with the socialist government of President Francois Hollande, whose campaign pledges to raise taxes on the rich had infuriated some business figures and prompted threats that some high earners would move out of France in protest.

“It’s currently under discussion with social partners, trade unions,” a spokesman told Reuters.

“It would concern 60 to 70 people, maximum 70 people, out of the group’s 100,000 staff.

“The idea is to get closer to London, which is the oil trading and financial centre of Europe to allow the group to improve its international visibility,” the spokesman said.

No staff are expected to move before the end of the year, and the executive committee will remain in Paris.