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HSBC boss confirms plans to shift UK jobs to Paris in event of 'hard Brexit'

HSBC's boss Stuart Gulliver has welcomed the French government's proposed labour reforms as he plans to possibly move UK jobs to Paris
HSBC's headquarters are currently located in London's Canary Wharf

HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA) is considering shifting 1,000 jobs from the UK to Paris in the event of a ‘hard Brexit’, the bank’s chief executive confirmed today.

Speaking at a banking conference in Paris, Stuart Gulliver said there are about 1,000 jobs out of 43,000 employed in Britain that will become unlawful for the bank’s activities to be carried out of the UK if the government negotiates a ‘hard Brexit’.

A ‘hard Brexit’ would likely see the UK give up full access to the European Union’s single market and customs union in order to give Britain full control of its borders. 

Under this scenario, banks would lose their passporting rights, which allows them to operate without restriction in all EEA countries.

Banks would only be allowed access to the single market if they set up subsidiaries in the EU.

HSBC’s plans to move staff from the UK to Paris emerged in media reports last month but the bank had declined to comment at the time.

Gulliver has now confirmed the reports, saying that he sees Paris as a suitable city to relocate jobs due to encouraging labour and economic reforms proposed by the French government.

"The package of reforms suggested last week is very, very positive," he said.

French president Emmanuel Macron’s controversial reforms will make it easier to hire and fire staff, create jobs and boost the country’s economic growth. 

HSBC’s decision to move UK jobs came at the same time as JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) chief executive Jamie Dimon said the bank will likely use Frankfurt as its European base after Brexit.

"We will probably use the Frankfurt bank, because we will have the licenses already," Dimon said at the same Paris conference.

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