Major UK banks are in advanced talks to move to Paris

Canary Wharf banks

In a move which could lead to scores of UK-based banking roles moving to the French capital, Benoit de Juvigny told the BBC‘s Newsnight “large international banks” were already in the process of doing due diligence.

It’s not the first time another European nation has tried to seize London’s mantle as the continent’s finance capital.

Back in October Nicolas Mackel, the head of Luxembourg for Finance, said London financial institutions had already been in touch about moving to Luxembourg.

That was in response to a less-than-optimistic assertion by Anthony Browne, the boss of the British Bankers’ Association, who said banks had already begun contingency planning.

“Their hands are quivering over the relocation button,” he said.

“Many smaller banks plan to start relocating before Christmas. Bigger banks are expected to start in the first quarter of the year.”

Today Newsnight said “at least eight” financial centres were vying for the UK finance sector’s affections: Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Madrid, Bratislava and Valletta, the Maltese capital.

De Juvigny suggested the competition could lead to a race to the bottom for banking legislation.

“The danger is the race that we could have for a more lenient regulation with a more lenient regulator,” he said.