US banks strengthen their presence in Paris

Since the first post-Brexit transfers, American banks have been increasingly strengthening their teams based in Paris. By the end of 2022, the 5 major Wall Street banks - Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citi and Morgan Stanley - will employ 2,400 bankers in the capital.

2,400 American bankers in Paris by the end of the year

Since the Brexit, international banks have been stepping up staff transfers to Paris. According to Paris Europlace, the organization responsible for promoting and developing Paris as a financial center, 4,500 bankers employed by international banks have been transferred to Paris since the UK's exit from the European Union.

The major American banks are steadily strengthening their presence in Paris. While these moves were originally motivated by regulatory imperatives, the focus is now on development strategies.

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citi, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley are expected to have a total of 2,400 bankers based in the capital by the end of the year. Goldman Sachs had 170 employees based in France in 2017. There will be 350 by the end of 2022, and 450 by 2024.

For Goldman Sachs, Paris is a must, with an investment perimeter that includes 6,000 companies, 4,000 billion euros in assets and 3,000 billion in market capitalization.

JP Morgan hesitates between Paris and Frankfurt for back-office financiers

For its part, JP Morgan had declared back in 2018 that Paris would be "one of the big beneficiaries of the Brexit", as its CEO Jamie Dimon put it in an interview with the daily Les Echos.

"The French authorities have been very effective in attracting people, as have the Germans," he said at the time.

250 JP Morgan employees were already based in Paris before the Brexit, and only 60 more were expected to join their ranks. In the end, 800 people are now based in Paris, and the Wall Street bank could also bring in 1,000 back-office staff.

However, JP Morgan is still hesitating between Paris and Frankfurt for financiers specializing in back-office activities. While the level of social security charges, which can reach 30% of salaries, is not a point in favor of Paris, the presence of the regulator is a positive factor, as the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution is in the front line for the market activities of the major French banks.

At Citi, the presence in Paris is also intensifying. The bank had 150 employees in the capital before the Brexit; it plans to have 400 by the end of 2022, and 600 by 2024. Bank of America, meanwhile, employs 500 people in Paris, and Morgan Stanley intends to double its headcount compared with the beginning of last year. By the end of the year, Morgan Stanley should have more than 350 bankers in Paris.