As a hard Brexit looms, Bank of America's Paris move looks inspired
J.P. Morgan must be kicking itself. Following today's resignation of UK prime minister Theresa May, a hard Brexit looks increasingly inevitable. In the circumstances, banks that have already expanded their European operations will surely be at an advantage. Those that have sat on the fence, waiting to see what happens before fully committing to a big new European endeavour, risk losing out if hiring in the EU suddenly picks up.
J.P. Morgan would seem to fall into the latter category. Last time we looked, the U.S. bank had yet to finalize its new Paris office and was therefore asking any London staff who move to the French capital to work from an uninspiring back-up location in the city's suburbs. "We call it the bunker," complained one JPMorgan insider, who said it will be hard for the bank to recruit additional staff to work there. JPMorgan's desired Paris location - at Hotel De La Marine on Place de la Concorde, won't be ready until spring 2020 at the earliest.
By comparison, Bank of America's new Paris office at La Poste is already up and running. 200 people are already working there; another 200 will be arriving by the end of 2019.
BofA's Paris office - which includes a new trading floor and leafy roof garden, is also more developed that Goldman Sachs' new Brexit-inspired office in Frankfurt. Goldman is only moving to Frankfurt's Marienturm in autumn 2019 - around the time when Britain's very hard Brexit is now likely to take place.
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