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Not forbidden to "help banks reflect" on Paris move after Brexit - Sapin
October 10, 2016 / 3:16 PM / a year ago

Not forbidden to "help banks reflect" on Paris move after Brexit - Sapin

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - France is helping banks and financial institutions to consider a move from London to Paris after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the French finance minister said on Monday.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin speaks during an interview with Reuters in his office at the Bercy Ministry in Paris, France, October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

The French authorities are eager to attract financial firms from London after Britain’s EU exit vote and have already offered to handle their files in English if they decide to move to the French capital.

Asked whether France has more concrete plans to attract banks from London, Michel Sapin said: “Large financial institutions make their decisions autonomously.”

“But it’s not prohibited to help them reflect and give them information on the quality of Paris (as a financial centre). We do it without any particular animosity against London,” he told reporters on his arrival at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Luxembourg.

In a recent interview Sapin also said London cannot remain as the main euro clearing centre once Brexit is completed.

“After Brexit, it will not be as before Brexit. They wanted a change. There will be a change,” Sapin added on Monday.

Last week, French President Francois Hollande said the European Union should be tough on Britain after the country had apparently chosen a “hard Brexit”, in which Britain leaves the EU’s single market in order to impose controls on immigration, disrupting access to its main trading partner.

The pound fell heavily in Asia after Hollande’s remarks, but Sapin said it was unclear whether the drop was caused by Hollande’s words.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio

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