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Brexit, the dynamics of the Paris Financial Centre accelerate


French Prime Minister Edouard PHILIPPE highlighted the commitment of the government to develop the attractiveness of the Paris Financial Centre to the benefit of the whole economy, and to make Paris the leading centre in the European Union.



Addressing key decision makers of the European and international financial industry on the first day of the Paris EUROPLACE International Financial Forum, the Prime Minister recalled the provisions which will be included in the 2018 draft finance bill: removal of the top marginal band of the payroll tax applied to the banking sector, withdrawal of the extension of the financial transaction tax to intraday transactions, overhaul of the wealth tax to foster investment in the productive economy, flat tax on securities limited to around 30%, and progressive reduction of the corporate tax. The objective restated by the Prime Minister is to bring more visibility and legibility to fiscal provisions.

The Prime Minister reasserted the will of the Government to reform and make the labour market more flexible and to eliminate any gold plating of European Directives transposed into French law. Regarding infrastructures, he confirmed the project of opening three international high schools and the acceleration of the project of CDG Express line.

“We commit to a resolute approach with determination and consistency in order to boost the financial attractiveness of the Paris Financial Centre by all means and to ensure that Paris, the Ile de France Region and France do better in the coming years. For us, it is a major challenge,” stated Edouard PHILIPPE to conclude his speech.

Stuart GULLIVER, Group Chief Executive of HSBC Holding, speaking at the conference, highlighted that in case of a hard Brexit, 1,000 roles currently based in London would be relocated to Paris. He recalled that France benefits from a global sized economy, with a real critical mass, and a resilient and profitable banking system. In addition, the Paris Financial Centre benefits from the presence of large international clients, active on capital markets. He assessed that the reforms announced by the French government were very positive.

Jamie DIMON, Chairman & CEO of JP Morgan Chase, speaking at the same panel, underlined that his group was preparing for a hard Brexit, which actually reflects the will of the British people. It is therefore anticipated that jobs will relocate to European hubs and that the most attractive centres will be those which provide consistency, a regulatory framework and stability. According to him, the election of a new business minded President in France is a strong asset. Paris has decisive advantages in technologies and an attractive quality of life.

Frédéric OUDEA, CEO of Société Générale, stated: “At this stage, it seems clear for Société Générale that it will be necessary to relocate a number of roles in the Eurozone. In this scenario, in light of the decisions taken by the Government, we will concentrate relocations in France. This movement may concern 300 to 400 roles out of the 2,000 currently in London.”

Gérard MESTRALLET, Chairman of Paris EUROPLACE, welcomed the “historical momentum” in which the Paris EUROPLACE International Financial Forum took place, with the implementation by the Government, in a particularly short time, of an ambitious action plan for the attractiveness of the Paris Financial Centre, in a context of Brexit.

He stated: “Paris EUROPLACE welcomes the new measures announced in favour of a greater flexibility of labour law, a reduction of fiscal charges in particular through a reduction of the payroll tax, and regarding the taxation of savings. These measures form a very significant package which meets the expectations of international companies which reflect upon the possibility of relocating to Paris.”

The Paris EUROPLACE Financial Forum took place on 11th and 12th July in Paris brought together over 2,500 stakeholders of the European and global financial industry. More than 50 countries were represented at the conference.

About Paris EUROPLACE:
Paris EUROPLACE is the organisation in charge of developing and promoting the Paris Financial Marketplace and the French financial industry internationally. It brings together all financial industry stakeholders; its 400+ members include issuers, investors, banks and financial intermediaries, insurance companies, attorneys and accountants, consulting firms, etc. The association is chaired by Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman of the Board of ENGIE.
paris-europlace.com

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