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France Brexit Banking

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HSBC likely to switch jobs to France on Brexit: CEO

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File photo of a London HSBC branch. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

The chief executive of HSBC bank says the company is likely to switch 1,000 jobs to Paris from London, with Britain planning to leave the European Union single market under Brexit.


Speaking from the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort Davos on Tuesday, chief executive Stuart Gulliver said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that "about 1,000 jobs which are carrying out activities which are covered by European legislation... would probably need, in our case, to go to France".

Although Gulliver had in the past already hinted at such a switch of investment banking jobs, his comments suggested France would take precedence over other European Union nations.

"We bought Credit Commercial de France in 2002," said Gulliver, "so we have a full service universal bank in France. And so for us, it's France."

Gulliver was speaking shortly after British Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain would pull out of the European single market to control EU immigration, as she unveiled plans for a clean break from Brussels for the first time. At the same time however, May stressed the need for the greatest possible access to the market with Britain as an outsider.

The UK financial sector has long feared the loss of "passporting" rights -- which allows EU member states to trade across national borders. That provides a crucial gateway for companies to access the rest of the bloc.

- with AFP