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Paris steps up efforts to attract US banks after Brexit
[NEW YORK] The French government will open a tribunal in Paris to handle financial cases in English in an effort to attract more American banks after Brexit, a top official said Thursday.
French economy minister Bruno Le Maire highlighted the proposal as a way to position Paris to compete with Dublin, Frankfurt and other centres for an expected shift in finance jobs out of London due to Brexit.
Most international financial contracts are written in English and make reference to British law.
"We will create a special court to handle disputes relating to financial contracts governed by English law, once the UK leaves the EU," Mr Le Maire said in a speech at the New York Economic Club.
"All proceedings will take place in English. We will hire people with experience in common law, regardless of where they come from."
Over the course of two days in New York, Mr Le Maire was to meet with executives from large banks, including JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon and senior officials at Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock.
Mr Le Maire also planned to hand deliver a personal letter from French President Emmanuel Macron to the executives outlining his government's measures to attract business ahead of a public announcement by the French prime minister in mid-July, according to a person familiar with the matter.
As Mr Macron takes the first steps to relax France's rigid labour laws, Mr Le Maire echoed the president's robust defence of the European Union and said France was committed to making its economy less encumbered by red tape and excessive taxation.
"We will build on our strengths and do away with what is stopping our economy from being as dynamic as it could be," he said.
"I'm confident we can deliver because the political momentum makes change finally possible."