Currencies

Dollar rises as markets turn eyes to Opec

European bourses are mirroring a tentative Asia session as the dollar continues to be supported by better US economic data and investors turn their attention to a meeting between Opec members. Sentiment is underpinned by US index futures suggesting the S&P 500 will gain 3 points to 2,207.3 when trading gets under way later in […]

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Banks

Basel Committe fail to sign off on latest bank reform measures

Banking regulators have failed to sign off the latest package of global industry reforms, leaving a question mark hanging over bankers who complain they have faced endlessly evolving regulation since the financial crisis. Policymakers had hoped to agree the contentious new measures at a crunch meeting held in Chile this week, but a senior official […]

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Banks, Financial

Banking app targets millennials who want help budgeting

Graduate debt, rent and high living costs have made it hard for millennials to save for a house, a pension or even a holiday. For Ollie Purdue, a 23-year-old law graduate, this was reason enough to launch Loot, a banking app targeted at tech-dependent 20-somethings who want help to manage their money and avoid falling […]

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Economy

Eurozone inflation climbs to highest since April 2014

A welcome dose of good news before next week’s big European Central Bank meeting. Year on year inflation in the eurozone has climbed to its best rate since April 2014 this month, accelerating to 0.6 per cent from 0.5 per cent on the back of the rising cost of services and the fading effect of […]

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Financial

Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin hit by restructuring costs

Profits at wealth manager Brewin Dolphin were hit by restructuring costs as the company continued to shift its focus towards portfolio management. The FTSE 250 company reported pre-tax profits of £50.1m in the year to September 30, down 17.9 per cent from £61m the previous year. Finance director Andrew Westenberger said its 2015 figure was […]

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Categorized | Financial

French say ‘yes’ to lure UK companies


Posted on September 28, 2016

The Eiffel Tower stands beyond the La Defense business district in Paris, France on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Cities across Europe are eyeing the spoils of the British referendum result, making a pitch to businesses large and small that want to secure access to the single market of the remaining 27 countries of the EU. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg©Bloomberg

French financial regulators have a simple message for UK businesses considering a move to the continent after Britain’s vote to leave the EU: ‘Come to Paris, we speak English.’

In a blatant attempt to lure companies across the Channel, the ACPR financial watchdog and AMF securities regulator announced on Wednesday that they are simplifying the often laborious process of registering financial companies “in the context of the Brexit vote”.

    From now, officials will accept legal documents written in English from EU-registered groups seeking to move to France — saving the trouble and cost of drafting new paperwork. They will even provide an English-speaking official to handle new applications.

    In addition, UK financial companies will be able to secure “pre-authorisation” for a move to France in just two weeks — to help them to start finding office space and hiring staff without delay.

    “[We are] getting ready to welcome British-based institutions that wish to locate their business in France,” the regulators said in a statement, pointing to the “consequences” for UK firms that choose to remain based solely in the UK.

    Many believe that London-based financial groups will be compelled to move staff or even headquarters to the eurozone, if the UK loses its regulatory “passporting” rights in a Brexit settlement.

    French regulators stressed the “freedom to provide services” across the EU that will be afforded to UK groups that move to Paris.

    Their relaxation of the rules on English language applications is the latest in a series of moves aimed at attracting UK financial groups following the Brexit vote — a strategy in which Paris has been far more aggressive than rivals such as Frankfurt or Dublin.

    Despite a historically ambivalent relationship with high finance, the French government appears to have seized energetically on the idea of attracting finance jobs from London, as domestic economic growth remains stubbornly slow and unemployment above 10 per cent.

    “Paris’s financial centre is what makes France attractive,” said Manuel Valls, the French prime minister over the summer. Valérie Pécresse, a former budget minister and president of the Paris region, said her enemy was “not finance, but unemployment”.

    Following the Brexit vote, France quickly announced some of the EU’s most generous tax breaks for expatriates. Foreign executives now enjoy an income tax break of up to 50 per cent and the right to exclude foreign assets from the wealth tax for eight years.

    “We will be rolling out the red carpet [to bankers],” said Jean-Louis Missika, a deputy mayor of Paris this year. Gérard Mestrallet, head of the Paris Europlace lobby group, said this was “the moment” for Paris as a financial centre.

    London’s standing as Europe’s dominant financial centre has long been a source of irritation in Paris. Roughly a third of all euro-denominated trading currently happens in the City, even though the UK is outside the eurozone.