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People make their way to work at the La Defense business district just outside of Paris on August 31, 2017. The French government will unveil an overhaul of the country's labour code -- a collection of laws setting out workers' rights spanning over 3,000 pages, some dating back over a century. / AFP PHOTO / LUDOVIC MARIN

Finance

Brexit to create 3,500 finance jobs in Paris: industry group

People make their way to work at the La Defense business district just outside of Paris on August 31, 2017/AFP

PARIS, France, Jul 11 – Britain’s moves towards exiting the European Union are already expected to create some 3,500 finance and banking jobs in Paris as leading players in the sector move their operations out of London, an industry group said Wednesday.

The figure “is much higher than the direct job transfers to other European financial capitals,” Gerard Mestrallet, president of the lobby group Paris Europlace, said at the opening of the group’s annual conference.

The US asset management giant Blackrock and the bank Citigroup are among the companies planning to move some activities to Paris, according to British media reports.

On top of an estimated 3,500 jobs seen as likely so far, the transfers could generate an additional 20,000 indirect jobs in the French capital, said Mestrallet.

He attributed the shifts to Paris to labour law overhauls and other measures taken by President Emmanuel Macron, a former Rothschild investment banker who is pushing to make France more attractive to foreign investors.

“We’ve made more progress in the past two years in Paris than over the previous 13 years,” he said, citing in particular the end of a wealth tax on financial assets and a new flat tax on capital income, including dividends and interest payouts.

London has long been Europe’s top financial centre, and analysts have predicted a wave of job transfers to the continent by banks and insurance companies as Britain prepares to leave the union in March 2019.

Leading companies in other sectors have also warned they might move operations out of the country, including Airbus, BMW and Siemens.

Paris has several rivals for the post-Brexit business, including Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dublin.

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