JPMorgan makes Paris its first European hub

Paris has become JPMorgan’s main trading centre in the European Union, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said at the inauguration of the bank’s new headquarters in Paris on Tuesday. This follows a string of other big banks to move parts of their operations to mainland Europe following the Brexit deal coming into force. Red tape and lack of provisions for financial services has made Britain a less attractive business location. 

The new premises has six trading floors and will see between $300 billion (€253 billion) and $400 billion (€337 billion) in trading volume every day, Dimon told reporters.

“All European trading, which is stocks, bonds, and derivatives will be going through here”, Dimon said. “It’s the trading hub” for the bank in Europe, he added. The bank now aims to have 800 staff in its Paris office by the end of 2022, up from 260 in early 2020.

JPMorgan, which was initially reluctant to increase its presence in Paris because of France’s labour laws, eventually made the city a key part of its post-Brexit footprint in continental Europe after the election of Emmanuel Macron in 2017. Dimon is handing Macron a triumph now as EU nations vie to take chunks of the financial centre forced to shift post-Brexit from the UK.

“I love the idea that you love France,” Macron joked with Dimon during the event. “But you put your money and your people here. This is the best evidence of love.”

The largest US lender announced the acquisition of a building previously occupied by BNP Paribas SA in January 2020. Kyril Courboin, head of the bank’s French unit, said at the time that the French government reforms and the quality of Paris infrastructure meant there was “no better time to be investing here and for more of our staff to make it their home.”

The trading floor extension is housed in a modern building, connected to the bank’s neo-classical existing offices on the Place Vendome and close to the Louvre museum and Tuileries gardens.

Along with JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. signed a lease in Paris for a new headquarters and picked the French capital for its Sigma X trading venue. Bank of America, which opened new offices near the Champs Elysees in 2019, relocated several senior executives to the French capital and boosted its local hiring effort.

“It is excellent news that JPMorgan comes to Paris, it is excellent news that it opens an office in Paris,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday at the Choose France event. I believe it is the very clear sign that Paris, as we wanted four years ago, has become one of the major financial hubs in the world.”

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