Poland Seeks to Tempt Away London Bankers After Brexit

Poland is the latest EU member looking to attract business away from London.

Poland has joined the growing list of European nations looking to attract some of the UK’s biggest banks following Brexit, according to a report in the Financial Times today.

The Polish deputy prime minister is scheduled to descend on the British capital later this week armed with a package of incentives to lure away senior executives from some of the biggest banks in the City that have indicated an interest in relocating jobs to the continent.

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Talks have already begun with financial institutions in London about moving middle-office and back-office operations to Poland. Mateusz Morawiecki told the Financial Times: “Many of them have approached us…there is clearly increased interest in leaving London.”

Meetings with Big Banks

The deputy prime minister, a former Santander banker, has scheduled meetings with senior executives at Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Credit Suisse and others, including executives from investment fund managers at Schroders, Pimco and BlackRock.

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After Britain’s decision to leave the EU,  Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dublin have also been gearing up to tempt away London’s banking business, on the basis that financial services groups need to consider a new base if Britain is to be stripped of the passporting rules that allow them to operate across borders without licences.

France in particular has made special efforts to attract business, with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls promising to “roll out the red carpet” after telling a room full of foreign bankers “welcome to Paris!” not long after the Brexit vote.

Poland is offering banks and funds financial incentives to relocate there, such as grants for training new employees, Mr Morawiecki said, along with tailored university degree programmes for the IT and finance skills required by foreign banks.

“Swiss-type” Arrangement

Meanwhile, back in Britain, ministers are contending with how to retain access to the single market, particularly for financial services, without the EU reimposing the condition of free movement of labour on the nation. Prime Minister Theresa May has called a meeting this week where the next steps for Britain and the EU will be discussed.

A “bespoke deal” allowing different financial sectors to trade with Europe, modelled on Switzerland’s arrangement, is said to be on the cards.

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