Banks are preparing to move staff out of London as fears grow over the impact leaving the European Union may have on the financial sector.
According to Reuters , HSBC’s chief executive Stuart Gulliver has confirmed possible plans to move 1,000 jobs from Britain to Paris in the event of a hard Brexit.
Speaking in the French capital on Tuesday, July 11, he told a conference that around 1,000 HSBC jobs out of the 43,000 in the UK would become “unlawful” if Britain pushed ahead with a hard Brexit
He hailed the labour market and economic reforms recently proposed by the French government were “very, very positive.”
Reuters also reported top executives at five of the largest banks in London had already begun relocating hundreds of staff over fears a staggered deal on leaving the EU was likely to be agreed late on in talks with Brussels.
Citi’s UK head , James Bardrick, told the news agency the Government had been too slow to get any early deals and banks would have to have plans in place by September 2018.
He said: “There’s been a lot of talk and not a lot of action for a long time. I am anxious it is all a bit late.”
The Government has not yet asked for a transitional deal from Brussels.
Banking executives say they are on a tight timetable, as it could take more than 18 months to set up EU divisions if they need to leave the UK.
Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills ' senior partner James Palmer said the likelihood of Britain not getting a deal had increased after the inconclusive results of last month’s general election.
He said if politicians did not get a transition committed now they “will have failed, and will have failure on their tombstones as their legacies”.
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