November 24, 2017 / 12:57 PM / 2 years ago

France cuts cost of sacking traders to lure banks post-Brexit

A general view shows the Arc de Triomphe and the financial and business district in La Defense, west of Paris, France November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - The French parliament has approved measures to cut the cost of sacking traders by excluding their bonuses from compulsory redundancy payouts, in a move aimed at luring banks’ trading activities to Paris as Britain leaves the European Union.

Paris and Frankfurt are at the forefront of a race among European cities to attract London financial services businesses that need a base in the European Union to continue serving customers in the bloc after Britain leaves in March 2019.

France has stepped up efforts to attract London banks to Paris after the election of President Emmanuel Macron, who has cut taxes and taken steps to make labor laws more flexible.

France’s lower house of parliament approved the measures late on Thursday, just days after Paris was picked to host the European Banking Authority (EBA), giving new momentum to its bid to attract banking jobs after Brexit.

“In order to improve the attractiveness of Paris as a financial center in the context of Brexit and for social justice, it seems preferable to exclude these bonuses from compulsory redundancy payouts and possible court awards,” Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud told lawmakers.

Goldman Sachs has already said it will make Paris and Frankfurt its European hubs after Brexit.

Bank of America is also looking to lease more office space in Paris, according to two sources familiar with the matter, while Citigroup is applying for a licence to conduct investment banking activities in France.

JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in October the U.S. bank might move 60 jobs to Paris.

Reporting by Simon Carraud and Emile Picy; Writing by Michel Rose. Editing by Jane Merriman

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