Leaked internal memo shows how Bank of America is trying to persuade London bankers to move to Paris
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch plans to move as many as 400 sales and trading jobs to Paris as part of Brexit preparations.
- The bank produced an information leaflet for employees who may be affected that was circulated internally in August.
- Business Insider has seen the leaflet. It advertises Paris' "famous chefs and restaurants", "some of the best wine regions in the world," and its educational and cultural amenities.
Paris has it all, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The American banking giant has produced a brochure for London employees considering a move to Paris as part of its Brexit contingency plans. The document, seen by Business Insider, includes a section headed "Reasons to live and work in Paris" that touts the city's culture, educational facilities, food and wine, and access to outdoor activities.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.
Bank of America employs about 4,500 people in the UK and about 100 in Paris. The lender is looking to adjust that balance, however, as Britain's exit from the European Union looms. It has publicly said about 200 jobs in sales and trading will most likely have to move, and Reuters reported over the summer that the number could be as high as 400.
Bank of America circulated the brochure in August to employees who may be affected by the changes. The leaflet boasted of Paris' museums, its "famous chefs and restaurants," and "some of the best wine regions in the world."
When it comes to culture, "Paris has it all," the bank wrote. The brochure also touted Paris' schools and proximity to London. More broadly, it advertised the "spectacular ski slopes of the Alps and Pyrenees and the beaches of the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts," which are accessible by train.
Last year, Bank of America signed a new lease on a 100,000-square-foot (about 9,920 square metres) office in Paris, which it mentions in its brochure. The space is being refurbished and is intended to be ready for occupation at the start of next year.
Bank of America is not alone in looking to move jobs out of London because of Brexit. The Financial Times reported over the weekend that JPMorgan and BlackRock were poised to announce shifts across the channel as part of Brexit preparations.
Banks are increasingly concerned about the chance of a so-called hard Brexit. Many senior figures in the City worry that there is a realistic chance of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal on the future relationship between the two, a possibility once considered unlikely. Executives are executing backup plans to ensure their businesses are not locked out of the EU after the official Brexit date next March.
But banks must also win over employees, many of whom have families based in the UK and may not want to relocate. Cities such as Paris and Amsterdam have played up their cultural and educational chops when pitching finance executives on job moves, as these "soft" sells are seen as an important draw for bankers.
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