French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s visit to London this week, which aimed at persuading London-based banks to relocate post-Brexit to Paris, raises questions on whether they would be wise to follow his advice according to Brickendon.
“Moving banks wholesale to Paris is as nonsensical as saying that banks will remain completely in the UK, regardless of passporting rights,” says Christopher Burke, chief executive officer (CEO) of the technology and management consultancy.
“The question is which bank activities is Macron suggesting should relocate? There are many different types of financial operations, ranging from asset management and commercial operations through to insurance and clearing, all of which are different markets and have different needs and requirements. It does not make sense to suggest that one base suits all types of banking operation.
“This is in effect the reverse of our location strategy theme. Rather than Brickendon assessing the business and deciding where best to locate, the city itself, in this case Paris, would need to look at its attractiveness as a location and realign its attributes to meet the needs of business.
“This could range from anything such as corporate and personal tax rates – France doesn’t allow non-domiciled (non-doms) and taxes worldwide income, quality of life considerations, the ability to attract talent at the senior level with the proposal of salary caps, legal implications for global businesses, the ability to source, resource and maintain a skilled workforce, as well as language considerations and time zone attractiveness.
“At Brickendon we could run this assessment as a location strategy and determine which businesses could successfully relocate to Paris. It is a city which excels at structured equity and complex mathematics, but has been vocal in banker bashing and calling for transaction taxes on trades. None of this rhetoric has been reversed by one speech made in London by Macron.
“It is also worth considering that relocating to Paris, rather than other European cities such as Frankfurt or Milan will incur negative and competing voices from other parts of the European Union (EU).”
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