France - finance

Macron's 'Choose France' summit rolls out red carpet to JP Morgan, global CEOs

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the opening session of the Choose France video-conference meeting from the Elysee Palace in Paris on January 25, 2021. - The video-conference gathers a hundred leaders of major foreign groups who were due to attend the Choose France Summit, which was postponed for health reasons.
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the opening session of the Choose France video-conference meeting from the Elysee Palace in Paris on January 25, 2021. - The video-conference gathers a hundred leaders of major foreign groups who were due to attend the Choose France Summit, which was postponed for health reasons. AFP - LUDOVIC MARIN

President Emmanuel Macron is to declare that Paris is back on the map of global finance on Tuesday when he inaugurates JP Morgan's new trading hub in the French capital – which he hopes will attract more bankers leaving post-Brexit Britain.

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The US bank's chief executive Jamie Dimon will be one of almost 120 international CEOs travelling to Versailles on Monday for Macron's now traditional "Choose France" summit in which he pitches France as an investment destination.

The day after, Dimon and Macron will visit JP Morgan's new hub in central Paris, where about 440 employees will be based, many having relocated from London.

Macron's advisers say that is testament to the appeal of France's pro-business reforms implemented since the former investment banker's election in 2017.

Brexit

JP Morgan's new trading floor is the latest concrete example of how Brexit is changing Europe's financial landscape since January.

Paris is at the vanguard of attempts to relocate clearing of euro derivatives from London to the EU after Britain's "Big Bang" liberalisation of financial rules in the 1980s drained EU financial capitals of such activity and staff.

Global banks like JP Morgan have long used London as their EU gateway, but with Brexit largely severing Britain from the bloc's financial market, banks have spent millions of dollars on hubs in Paris, Frankfurt and elsewhere in the bloc to avoid disruption.

EY, a consulting group, has calculated that over 7,500 financial jobs and $1.3 trillion in assets have moved from London to the EU.

Tipping point

After these initial moves, financial firms are now deciding if there is enough business in London and the EU for two operations to be profitable.

"We may reach a tipping point many years out when it may make sense to move all functions that service Europe out of the United Kingdom and into continental Europe," Dimon said in his yearly Letter to the Shareholders in April. 

New Financial think tank said in a report in April that Paris has attracted 102 of 440 firms from Britain that opened units in the EU, second only to Dublin's 135.

Officials say past tax measures have helped create 3,000 new finance jobs in Paris since Brexit and no new perks are planned this week when Macron courts executives in the palace of Versailles.

"London had everything. Our ambition is for Paris to have everything too," an adviser to Macron told reporters.

(with agencies)

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