It's happening. Just as the government of French president Emmanuel Macron announces a new policy of cutting payroll taxes for bankers moving from Paris to London, we understand that French bank Credit Agricole is in the process of shifting some government bond trading jobs to the French city.
Credit Agricole didn't respond to a query on the move, but the nine or so traders who are migrating on are understood to work on the French bank's European government bond desk, run by Loris Savasta.
Credit Agricole's EGB team has been in the UK for as long as anyone can remember and Savasta himself has been here since at least 2002 according to the FCA Register. Now, he and his colleagues are being shifted to Paris this weekend and next. It makes sense: if the EU mandates that any form of trading takes place inside their jurisdiction post-Brexit, European government bond trading will be it.
Whether Savasta's team is happy about the move is another question. Christian Robbins, a global macro headhunter at search firm Tradestone search, said most French traders in the City of London don't want to go home. "It's mostly a question of taxation," he says - something which may yet be mitigated by Macron.
Credit Agricole's traders may also be discouraged by the location of the CIB head office in Paris. While the bank's London office is in the City, close to fashionable Shoreditch, its Paris office is in Montrouge, close to the ring road.
One member of Savasta's team has already quit. Moussa Haidara went off to Deutsche Bank to become a vice president in the German bank's government bond trading unit in August. For the moment, he'll stay in London - until Deutsche shifts that business to the EU too.
Credit Agricole's move to Paris comes as ING is understood to be in the process of moving 50-60 macro trading jobs to London from Brussels as it tries aggregating its business in one place. It also follows Credit Agricole's appointment of a new head of its London capital markets group from SocGen.
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