Belfast Telegraph

JP Morgan turns down event designed to tempt London-based firms to Paris

France's attempt to woo big City-based banks to Paris following Brexit has got off to a stuttering start after it emerged that JP Morgan did not attend a key summit held at London's Shard.

Banking sources told the Press Association that despite being invited, not a single JP Morgan representative attended the event, which was aimed at luring London-based financial firms to the French capital.

An invitation to attend a separate meeting with a French delegation of business leaders and politicians on the sidelines of Monday's event was also rejected, with organisers being told that JP Morgan representatives were not in London that day.

It meant the US banking giant was missing in action at Monday's summit, which saw more than 60 representatives from UK-based banks, fund managers and insurance firms descend on the London's Shard skyscraper to hear about the benefits of choosing Paris as their post-Brexit destination.

News of JP Morgan's absence represents a setback to French hopes of grabbing a slice of Britain's financial services sector pie.

The Wall Street lender did, however, send staff from its German office to an invite-only event held by state regulators in Frankfurt at the end of January.

Germany's financial watchdog Bafin hosted around 50 representatives from more than 20 banks, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, for a workshop that set out guidelines for setting up shop in Frankfurt following Brexit.

JP Morgan chie f executive Jamie Dimon has said around 4,000 of its 16,000 UK staff in London could be shifted out of Britain to protect its European business after Brexit, though a potential location has yet to be revealed.

Mr Dimon was among a number of Wall Street bosses that met with Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, last month, shortly after the Government outlined plans to scrap access to the EU's single market.

Experts have speculated that rival financial centres such as Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris could end up siphoning off some of the City's business as they court financial services firms ahead of Brexit.

HSBC has already confirmed that it is on course to move 1,000 jobs from its London office to France, where it already has a full service universal bank after buying up Credit Commercial de France in 2002.

A hard Brexit would effectively remove passporting rights that allow UK-based financial services to trade across the bloc without needing to apply for licenses in each member state.

It has raised concerns among City firms who rely on EU business, including insurance market Lloyd's of London, which is searching for a European hub to host a portion of its business in light of Brexit.

Sources close to Lloyd's told the Press Association that Luxembourg has emerged as the frontrunner on a short list of five sites - including Malta, Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris - for a potential EU subsidiary.

JP Morgan declined to comment.

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