PARIS (Reuters) – JPMorgan would be reluctant to move many jobs to Paris following Britain’s exit from the European Union because of France’s protectionist labor laws, the U.S.-based investment bank’s France head told Reuters on Tuesday.
Paris could be an attractive option to move small groups of well-paid traders who are on expatriates contracts, but not for back offices with thousands of people, Kyril Courboin added.
However, the bank stressed it was nowhere near making a decision on a possible move due to political uncertainties and was doing a technical analysis of its options.
Bankers have cast doubts on the chances of France luring much of the UK’s financial industry after the Brexit vote, citing the country’s unstable tax regime and labor rules that make people difficult to fire as major deterrents.
“It’s certain that today we would not move thousands of people to Paris where we would find ourselves facing very, very protected employment contracts,” Courboin told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Paris.
French financial lobby Paris Europlace has called for a special more flexible status in French labor law to apply to senior staff in financial firms to make Paris more attractive to banks.
However, Socialist Finance Minister Michel Sapin has said that France is determined to make Paris attractive without any such special status.
“I do not think we will have clarity on this before the presidential elections,” Courboin said. France goes to the polls to choose a new president and a new government next spring.
European financial centers, especially Frankfurt and Paris, have been mounting a charm offensive since the Brexit vote, saying they expect banks to start moving some operations from London next year to ensure continued access to the EU market after Britain leaves.
(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Andrew Callus and David Evans)