France steps up effort to woo London banks planning Brexit move – The Guardian

France steps up effort to woo London banks planning Brexit move – The Guardian

France has stepped up its seduction of banks and other financial institutions considering a move out of London due to Brexit, as the government unveiled a raft of proposals aimed at making Paris more appealing.

A document presented by the French prime minister, Edouard Philippe, on Friday listed a package of reforms including lower taxes and lighter regulation of financial services.

They include the abolition of the highest bracket of payroll tax and the cancellation of plans to increase France’s 0.3% tax on financial transactions.

Bankers’ bonuses will no longer be considered when labour courts decide on unfair dismissal compensation under the proposals, easing the cost of labour disputes for French financial institutions.

The document also pledged to reform the way that EU financial regulations are absorbed into French law.

Paris is competing against rival financial centres such as Frankfurt and Dublin for jobs that move out of London due to the fallout from Brexit.

One of its largest obstacles is the ease of doing business in English for international staff, a hurdle that the programme of reforms laid out on Friday will also address.

Philippe announced that the government has begun work on establishing an international tribunal in Paris that can handle cases in English, the lingua franca of the financial world.

There will also be three new international schools in the Paris area by 2022, in a move apparently aimed at banking staff concerned at moving their families to France.

The package of measures chime with promises by France’s new centrist president Emmanuel Macron to loosen the country’s labour laws and do away with red tape and high taxation.

Paris already has its eye on tens of thousands of bankers who could move away from London, if the UK’s divorce from the EU proves to be the catalyst for an exodus.

Among the factors that could affect this is the potential loss of Britain’s “passporting rights” allowing international financial firms access to markets in the European Union.

European regulations require certain financial functions, such as risk management, to be based on the continent if they pertain to firms in the EU.

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