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US banks planning exodus from Brexit Britain: French minister

Friday, October 14, 2016 - 08:56
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French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said Thursday that US banks had confirmed to him they would move some activities out of Brexit Britain to other European countries.

[PARIS] French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said Thursday that US banks had confirmed to him they would move some activities out of Brexit Britain to other European countries.

Mr Sapin said that until now US banks had adopted a wait-and-see approach towards their British investments.

"For them, until now, the question was 'will Brexit take place? Will it really be implemented? You talk about two years but maybe it will last three or four years?'"

"That's over now, there's no more of that," the minister, who visited Washington last week, told a press conference in Paris.

"It's no longer 'will there be' or 'if' there's a Brexit. It's 'there will be a Brexit in two years and after two years we will have to take decisions.'"

According to Mr Sapin they had already decided "activities will be transferred to the Continent."

"Those are their words, not mine," he said, adding calling it an "inevitable outcome, whatever the result of the Brexit negotiations" between London and Brussels.

Paris is among several cities hoping to woo London-based financial institutions if banks do decide to base themselves elsewhere in Europe to safeguard their euro business.

Sapin said France was working on a plan to promote Paris as a future financial capital.

AFP

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