European bank regulator arrives in Paris in boost to Macron's financial vision for city

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European bank regulator arrives in Paris in boost to Macron's financial vision for city
EBA executive director Adam Farkas. Photo: AFP

There are nearly 200 new faces in Paris this week as the European Banking Authority completes its move from London.


The organisation was one of the high-profile casualties of Brexit, which lead to its move from London, where it had been based since 2011.

The EBA is an EU-run regulatory authority for banks. Among its responsibilities are running stress tests on banks, supervising regulation and identifying potential weaknesses in banks.

Its arrival in Paris is a boost for French president Emmanuel Macron in his bid for the French capital to become the financial centre of Europe after Britain leaves the EU.

READ ALSO France overtakes Britain and Germany in attractiveness ratings

The authority is now based in the Paris financial district of La Défense. Photo: AFP

The city was involved in a tense eight-way bidding process to host the EBA. Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Poland all submitted bids, with Frankfurt and Dublin joining Paris in the second round, before Frankfurt was knocked out.

The winning bid was decided by votes from the 27 members states of the EU.

Speaking after the decision was made, Macron described it as “a recognition of France’s attractiveness and European commitment."

Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Germany's Berenbeg Bank, told Handlesblatt Today: “The EBA of itself is not all that important. But Macron is making France more attractive for businesses of all kinds, including finance.

"It may well be that historians see this as a tipping point.”

The regulatory body is now based in Avenue André Prothin in the La Défense district of Paris.

A spokesman confirmed that the move was completed on Monday, and added: "We currently have 195 people and eight more people will be recruited from July to December, mainly to replace outgoing staff."

The office opened in the same week as new figures show that France chalked up the biggest number of manufacturing and R&D projects by foreign investors in Europe last year.

The EY consulting firm counted 144 major research and development deals - an 85 percent surge from 2017 - and 339 manufacturing projects, pushing France past Germany or Britain for the first time.

Even though the total number of foreign direct investment (FDI) deals rose just one percent to 1,027, "France can take comfort from the fact that FDI did not decline by the extent it did in other European economies," the report said.

The EBA announced that it was leaving London at the same time as the European Medicines Agency, which is relocating to Amsterdam.


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