As the future of banking and financial arrangements between the UK and the EU after Brexit is still uncertain, some European cities have intensified their campaign to lure banks and expat jobs from London to their territory.
The French launched their charm offensive yesterday, lead by Valerie Pecresse – President of the region including Paris and its environs, and a former budget minister under Nicolas Sarkozy. The team arrived in the British capital in hopes of getting a slice of London’s riches including financial jobs.
They met a group of senior finance executives from Blackrock, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse and tried to persuade them to chose Paris when they moved out of London.
As it turned out the French capital has quite a lot to offer to relocating businesses. It promises much cheaper business rents in prime locations, good international schools, boasts a great climate and connectivity.
What’s on Offer for Expats?
The French, of course, are stressing the niceties of Parisian life.
“When was the last time you thought of taking your partner for a nice weekend in Frankfurt?”
However, it’s not the romance, arts and food of the French capital that’s the main argument in favour of Paris. For expats, it is an issue of income tax.
So, what’s on offer for expats? An impressive 28% top rate of income tax for expat executives. Taking into consideration a top rate of 45% in the UK it can be easily a winning point.
Moreover, the French tax authorities extended the 28% income tax rate period from five years to eight.
The offer looks great, no doubt. Yet there are concerns among British bankers and finance executives. Firstly, it is French employment laws which make it very difficult to fire people. Flexibility in the finance industry is very important and banks want to stay assured that in times of need they can reduce their costs including staff.
Secondly, its the current populist politics in France which looks disapprovingly at changing employment laws and reducing expat tax.
From the BBC News