These investment banks have the most to lose from a Brexit

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If investment banks start shifting jobs out of the UK in the wake of a Brexit, Paris has the potential to benefit more than any other financial centre. As a proportion of headcount, EU citizens from outside the UK are far more likely to work for a French bank than anywhere else.

45% of Societe Generale employees in London are from EU countries outside of the UK, according to analysis of the 1.4m resumes on eFinancialCareers. At BNP Paribas, this proportion is 39%. Much of this is down to the proliferation of French nationals in the City - 82% of these people at SocGen and 72% at BNP come from the banks’ home country.

French banks’ tendency to hire local candidates for roles in London could impact them more than any other investment bank in the City if the UK votes for a Brexit. Generally, though, French nationals are more likely to work in the City than any other EU citizens - there are 400,000 French people working in the UK, and analysts estimate that 122,000 of these are in the City of London

19% of J.P. Morgan’s employees in the UK come from EU states outside of the UK, according to our analysis, which is the highest proportion of any major bank aside from the two big French institutions.

Jamie Dimon has already said that J.P. Morgan would cut UK jobs if Brexit becomes a reality – 4,000 roles would go, he said in a townhall meeting at the bank’s Bournemouth office last week. It employs 16,000 people across the UK.

HSBC has said that 1,000 investment banking jobs would be moved to Paris after a Brexit, largely because they’re linked to MiFID II regulation. The free movement of labour across the EU is a major selling point banks in the City of London, but Britain being locked out of the single market makes it difficult to justify large trading floors based in the UK.

Meanwhile, there are rumours circulating in both Frankfurt and Dublin that international banks are scoping out commercial property and speaking to regulators about new operations should Britain leave the EU.

Generally, large U.S. banks employ a greater proportion of people from the Continent than their European counterparts.

Deutsche Bank, which has obvious ties to Germany, has just 14% of employees from the EU. It also employs more French people than any other European nationality – 29% of non-UK EU citizens at the bank come from France, compared to 23% who hail from Germany.

As a general trend, UK banks appear to be less reliant on talent from other EU countries than other firms. HSBC has 12% of non-UK EU citizens, according to our stats, compared to 9% and 8% at Barclays and RBS respectively.

Photo: Evgeny Gromov/iStock/Thinkstock

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