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France's top 3 banks prepare to cut UK staff because of Brexit

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BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA and Societe Generale SA are preparing to move about 500 positions from London, mostly to Paris.

[PARIS] As Brexit looms, France's top three banks are now pressing ahead with plans to cut their staffing in the UK.

BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA and Societe Generale SA are preparing to move about 500 positions from London, mostly to Paris. The three already have investment-banking hubs in France, and a presence in many parts of Europe, to take on the incoming employees.

As with other international banks, there's no exodus, but the three banks are shifting gear as the March exit deadline gets closer.

"If some activities are better positioned tomorrow in Paris than in London, we can very easily move our teams or to hire new people in Paris," Credit Agricole Chief Financial Officer Jerome Grivet said in Bloomberg TV interview Wednesday. "All in all, Brexit is going to require some work from us," but "it's not a strategic issue."

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Credit Agricole is currently preparing to relocate as many as 100 positions from London to Paris and other cities, and it will continue to adapt staffing based on business needs, Mr Grivet said.

If a hard Brexit happens, BNP Paribas would move 85 to 90 global-markets employees out of London, a spokeswoman said Monday. SocGen last week repeated it anticipates about 300 people to moves and also said it's "actively engaged" to assist a small number of employees impacted by the changes.

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