Londoners - How would you feel about relocating to Paris/Frankfurt?

Obviously early days yet, but there were reports that banks would consider moving some investment banking staff to Paris, Frankfurt or even Dublin in the event of a Brexit.

Interested to hear how you London bankers would feel about being asked to undertake such a move - or would you simply chuck it in and look for an alternative elsewhere in the City?

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Comments (44)

Jun 25, 2016 - 4:55am

Now with Brexit, London has lost his allure.
In a very far away scenario, I can see Frankfurt taking over as the financial capital of the European World, also due to the fact that the ECB is in Frankfurt. Zurich may get a bit revitalized, if HFs make a move to Switzerland again. Paris will see an influx of people coming back, for sure. I can see Berlin take over as the tech hub, or maybe Stockholm.

Regardless, looks like a good time to buy real estate in Frankfurt if that market would not be so overheated already.

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Jun 27, 2016 - 7:14am

Lost allure to whom? I'm not convinced any negotiated trade agreements would put London, or the financial industry at a disadvantage.

Jun 27, 2016 - 8:24am

It's a bit too early to name who will take over, but above_and_beyond has summarised pretty well above.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

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Best Response
Jun 26, 2016 - 7:45am

Grew up in / around Frankfurt and also gained some work experience there, before I ultimately moved to London.

In my opinion, you cannot really compare the two. While Frankfurt is a decent place to live which improved quite a bit over the last 10 years or so and has become quite "comfortable", it's nowhere comparable to London. London pretty much has it all, in terms of diversity, culinary and cultural offerings, nightlife, career opportunities, you name it. I would have loved to see the UK vote remain and stay here for a longer period, but am now considering an earlier move back. I am not sure whether we will see Frankfurt being the new financial hub in Europe, but I could imagine it being more spread over Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin, maybe even Zurich and Luxembourg and we won't see a London-like one-stop only European hub that soon.

My sister is living in Paris and while the city is pretty amazing, I could not see myself living and working there. Not sure why, but it doesn't feel like the finance place to be for me. Dublin is okay-ish and nice for a weekend break, but working there for longer..., I cannot see that either. I kind of like Zurich so in case that HFs consider moving there, I could see myself following. It's not the most exciting city for 20-somethings though.

Anyway, all in all I am pretty sad about the outcome of the referendum and also suddenly feel less excited about London and less welcome (can't really explain, but I would assume other Europeans know what I mean). I also think that in a more global and more connected world, this vote is a backward looking decision of the less educated and also older generation who fell for easy slogans and the hope for being the important nation of earlier centuries again, but believe that it will rather make the UK less relevant on our maps. This vote also shows the flaws of direct democracy where every voice counts the same and shows that such great decisions (sadly enough) should still be made by some kind of "elected elite" who do not fall for easy slogans and dirty campaigning but make more informed and rational decisions.

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Jun 28, 2016 - 6:04am

Most people who have been to either Paris or Frankfurt know that they may be nice places to visit but that it is a completely different story to live/work there. I doubt that either Paris or Frankfurt will be able to compete with London for global talent. I think the effect of Brexit will have minimal impact on the finance jobs in London.

Jun 28, 2016 - 7:42am
God save the queen… Ye royal banks of Lloyds ($LYG), Barclays ($BCS), and Royal Bank of Scotland ($RBS), 3 of the biggest financial institutions based in the UK, are all down over 30% the past three days. At Barclays, which pulled out of Africa and Asia recently to focus on its "core" European business, it's so bad that the exchanges had to halt trading of the stock on Monday -- its shares fell over 17% for the 2nd straight day.

It's a symbolic slap in the face to the "elite" and the "establishment"… and only Polo, Wimbledon, and annoyingly cold nonstop rain represent that in England more than Barclays. As the banks already faced major challenges with low interest rates and higher regulation, the EU referendum (which threatens its international finance business) is kicking them while they're down.

The takeaway… is that the vote to Brexit is potentially like building a wall that money can't pass through. Will the EU allow "The City of London" to issue and trade EUR-based debt? If not, then British banks will have just lost a big sugar daddy with the EU referendum. It's as if Barclays' "passport" to do business in Frankfurt, Paris, etc has been revoked, and it could cost those banks a ton of money to set up new branches there.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Jun 28, 2016 - 10:11am

Could someone explain to me the impetus for moving out of London as a result of Brexit? The UK wasn't even on the Euro. Will it all of a sudden be illegal (or overly onerous) to do M&A advisory, investment banking, private equity, stock investing, hedge fund investing, etc. in a London outside of the UK? I'm just not understanding where this is coming from. As I mentioned in another thread, I'm in Washington, D.C. and do financial business in the People's Republic of China on an almost daily basis, a nation in which the United States has (as far as I'm aware) no trade agreements with.

Array

Jun 28, 2016 - 11:38am

It won't be illegal, just difficult due to the potential loss of the "EU Passport". These articles seem to give a decent summary of the situation.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-ecb-idUSKCN0ZB09K
http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21701351-britains-de…
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/london-city-eu-passport…

One of London's major advantages as a financial hub is their access to the European market. By leaving the EU, they are giving up those privileges. The opportunity costs of banks remaining in London is just too high especially considering the potentials of Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt, etc. It is an issue of market access. The EU sucks, but, at least in finance, uncertainty is much worse.

London offers very many advantages, which is why I do not think the impacts of the Brexit concerning financial services' locations will occur anytime soon. It seems reasonable that banks will be willing to wait this out and see what happens at least in the immediate future. However, if nothing changes, the long term outlook for financial services institutions in London who had done much of their business in continental Europe is not encouraging. Moving to another European city with access to other EU countries may be a logical decision.

Jun 28, 2016 - 11:47am

Thanks for the articles. It looks to me like these regulatory hurdles can be overcome through exit negotiations. And if not, there are probably loopholes that can be used by establishing "back offices" or "shell offices" inside the EU.

The Norwegian model is often discussed with the UK, but the UK economy is 4 or 5 times the size of Norway, which would give the UK some additional negotiating power.

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Jun 28, 2016 - 7:43pm

I don't understand how people could even suggest that companies will move to Paris. France is in serious trouble, due to it being a significantly socialist country. There is no way management from any company (excluding French companies like Soc. Gen. or BNP) will move parts of their company to France.

Jun 29, 2016 - 6:58am

Does anyone have any insight in the French labor law which apparently states that employees work hour is capped at 35/week. This includes only work and the long lunch hours in the middle of the day are considered free time.

does this include financial markets? im quite sure that it doesnt but i know nothing of this so insight is appreciated

Jun 29, 2016 - 2:41pm

If you're in a "managerial position" that 35hrs rule doesn't apply but do not know exactly the conditions. Britain also has effectively a 35hr work week (8hrs per day with 1hr off for lunchbreak).

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Jul 4, 2016 - 3:29am

http://on.ft.com/29abUWz

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Jul 4, 2016 - 2:07pm

Would choose:
1. Amsterdam
2. Paris
3. Frankfurt (close call with Paris)
4. Dublin

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Jul 4, 2016 - 3:27pm

I worked at a European BB that is headquartered outside of London, and to me this discussion about departure from London to other citities seems nonsense. I don't know for Asset Management, but at least for banking, I just can't see how the banks will fire all the MDs in London or relocate them to Paris or Frankfurt. It's just not going to happen, and this goes beyond pass porting abilities: it's about the whole infrastructure in finance, including talent, stature, smart regulation, less or no onerous labor laws as opposed to Frankfurt or Paris, networking, English, etc.

Jul 4, 2016 - 3:36pm

straight LOL to all these people thinking London will turn into some B-list city while finance makes some mass, permanent exodus to the business nirvanas of Frankfurt, Amsterdam, or Paris. You have to be kidding me. I'm sure Dublin will get some businesses in the short-term, but London is here to stay.

I am neither British nor a Brexiter but am fully confident in the long-term future of the UK. Who knows what will happen to the EU, but to think that continental companies are going to support the un-elected eurocrats in Brussels fucking the UK during negotiations in every way is ridiculous. The EU needs to think about why the UK and so many other countries are unhappy about certain parts of the EU. There is great opportunity for reform. If it'll actually happen, we'll have to wait and see.

Jul 4, 2016 - 4:09pm

Funny how people keep repeating this lie about "un-elected eurocrats" while their anti-EU (cheer)leaders are jumping off the Leave Ship left and right.

Just sayin'

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