France has effectively stepped up the pressure on Ireland and other EU countries in the fight to lure London banking jobs after Brexit by making it less expensive to sack financial traders.
The French parliament approved the measures to cut the cost of sacking traders by excluding their bonuses from compulsory redundancy payouts, in a move aimed to attract trading activities to Paris as the UK leaves the EU.
Paris and Frankfurt are at the forefront of a race among cities to attract London financial services firms that need a base in the EU to continue serving customers after the UK leaves in March 2019. Dublin has had some success in persuading banks already based in Ireland to expand their bases and has also lured a number of insurance firms to relocate from London.
France has stepped up its efforts after the election of president Emmanuel Macron, who has cut taxes and taken steps to make labour laws more flexible.
France’s lower house of parliament approved the measures just days after Paris beat off Dublin to secure the new home of the European Banking Authority, giving new momentum to its bid to attract more banking jobs after Brexit.
“In order to improve the attractiveness of Paris as a financial centre 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 politicians.
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 sources.