British multinational banking and financial services company HSBC has said it will most likely switch hundreds of jobs to Paris from London. It said such a move made sense once the UK was out of the European Union.
Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver told Bloomberg Television the lender would likely switch 1,000 jobs to Paris from London, with the UK planning to leave the European Union after the pro-Brexit referendum.
While Gulliver had in the past already hinted at such a move of investment banking jobs, his fresh comments were more precise as he suggested France would take precedence over other EU nations.
"We bought Credit Commercial de France in 2002, so we have a full-service universal bank in France," he argued. "And so for us, it's France."
Adapting to a changing environment
HSBC said it would move staff generating around 20 percent of its trading revenue following Britain's exit from the EU.
"We're not moving this year and maybe not even next year," Gulliver said, adding that the bank would likely look to switch employees in around two years from now when Britain had fully left the European Union.
HSBC said it had all the licenses it needed for such a move and would only need to set up a so-called intermediate holding company in France, which it said would "take only a matter of months."
The UK financial sector has long feared the loss of passporting rights allowing EU member states to trade across national borders.
The British Bankers' Association cautioned last year that international lenders with operations in the UK were ready to transfer some of their activities out of the country from early 2017 because of the pro-Brexit vote.
hg/jd (AFP, Reuters)