It has been more than four months since JPMorgan gave any clues for its plans post-Brexit. That has changed this week with the bank sending the clearest signals to date of where it intends to relocate some of its London workforce, with Paris now added to the list of cities.
Back in May, JPMorgan signaled that it would shift hundreds of workers from London to up to three other cities within the bloc – Dublin, Frankfurt, and Luxembourg. Shifting course however, the lender’s CEO Jamie Dimon has now focused on Paris following a meeting with France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, in Washington this week.
“I had a productive meeting with Le Maire today and I am impressed with France’s progress toward economic reforms. As we discussed today, JPMorgan is considering adding jobs in Paris after Brexit negotiations are complete,” Mr Dimon explained at the recent IMF and World Bank meetings.
60 jobs targeted in move
The group is eyeing a move of approximately 60 jobs from the UK to Paris, only a fraction of its UK workforce of 16,000, per an FT report. More importantly however, these will be specialists in dealing with EU clients, perhaps giving the bank some flexibility moving forward. This is a more dispersed strategy, with four cities now to be recipients of JPMorgan’s London staff.
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For the past year, European lenders based in the UK have looked beyond its borders in the hopes of setting up shop in continental Europe. The main destinations that have vaulted to the top of the shortlist include Dublin, Frankfurt, and more recently dark horse candidate Amsterdam, each presenting their own unique advantages and disadvantages.
One of the primary impetuses for the move was the British PM’s terse language that sought to end passporting rights for lenders in the UK. This carrot had been a strong incentive for banks to remain, but now many are looking to continental Europe.
This week’s announcement continues JPMorgan’s more fragmented approach for its post-Brexit operations. Rather than moving all in on one trading base within the bloc like other lenders, the bank is instead spreading out its personnel over several cities – however the group has opted for Frankfurt as its legal hub, not unlike most other banks.
Paris still looking to secure banking talent
Paris’ bid to secure banking talent ultimately fell short in 2017 as the French capital saw thousands of jobs directed elsewhere to Frankfurt and Dublin. A combination of tax incentives and redundancy agreements proved to be deciding factors for many banks.
This has not stopped the country from trying however, with Emmanuel Macron recently implementing multiple pro-business reforms, which were ultimately too late in the game as many lenders had already decided their plans in July.