€170bn assets, 2,500 jobs moved to France post-Brexit

Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said nearly 2,500 jobs and €170 billion in assets have already been moved to France post-Brexit and 50 firms have received operating licences.

“Other relocalisations are expected and should accelerate over the course of the year,” Villeroy said in a New Year video message to the French financial sector.

He said Brexit created an opportunity to reinforce Europe’s market infrastructure, in particular for the clearing of interest rate derivatives, which has until now been largely done in London.

Many UK-based financial firms have opened subsidiaries in the European Union to keep unfettered market access known as “passporting” since the UK left the EU.

“On 1 January this year, the United Kingdom lost its financial passport,” Villeroy said.

“We had actively prepared for this, and fortunately the continuity of financial services has been maintained.

“Despite the pandemic, by end-2020, close to 2,500 jobs had already been transferred and around 50 British entities authorised, with the relocation to France of at least EUR 170 billion of assets.

“More relocations are expected and should be speeded up over 2021.

“On a more structural level, Brexit means that Europe has to develop its own financial autonomy.

“We need to reinforce our market infrastructures, especially for the clearing of interest rate instruments, with the strengths of the Paris marketplace.

“We also need a genuine ‘Financing Union’ to channel Europe’s savings surplus – close to EUR 220 billion – more efficiently into productive investment.

“It is now – otherwise it will never happen – that we need to seize the dual opportunity offered by Brexit and the reconstruction to truly build a Capital Markets Union …”