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Frankfurt loses edge in Brexit race to snag bankers as Paris gains ground

As part of Brexit contingencies, Bank of America Corp will initially move about 200 sales and trading staff to Paris and Frankfurt.


FRANKFURT'S efforts to attract bankers escaping Brexit are in danger of losing momentum.

While Paris appears to be catching up in the race for jobs, several companies have chosen to move staff to a number of locations within the European Union rather than building a single hub. That could end in disappointment for Frankfurt, according to a lobby group for the city.

"A clear warning signal is that most banks are spreading jobs widely across Europe to keep all relocation options open," said Hubertus Vaeth, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance. "From a German point of view, there is a risk of losing gains that have been considered as certain." JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc are among companies that plan to relocate staff to several EU locations as part of their Brexit contingency plans. For its part, Bank of America Corp will initially move about 200 sales and trading staff to Paris and Frankfurt, it said late last year.

In November, Paris was chosen as the new home for the European Banking Authority, beating out the likes of Frankfurt and Dublin. The decision, following lobbying by the French government, will "undoubtedly" cost the German city jobs, Mr Vaeth said. Even so, he still expects as many as 10,000 positions to be created over five years in Frankfurt as a result of Brexit.

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Oliver Wagner, managing director of the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany, predicts that 20 financial services companies will move some operations to Frankfurt. Together, they will probably add between 3,000 and 5,000 jobs within two years, he said. Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen Girozentrale still anticipates at least 8,000 additional employees over "several" years. BLOOMBERG

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