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HSBC to move seven offices from London to Paris amid Brexit uncertainty

Tolga Akmen, AFP | Pedestrians walk past a HSBC UK bank branch in London on July 31, 2018.

While Britain braces for its exit from the EU in March 2019, HSBC announced on Monday that seven of its Europe-focused offices will move from London to Paris early next year.

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The largest British and European bank, HSBC announced these changes in a statement issued by its French subsidiary, a few hours after unveiling mixed second quarter results.

These seven offices are responsible for the bank’s activities in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland. They will be transferred from HSBC Bank, the company’s London-based subsidiary, to its Paris-based counterpart HSBC France.

Without explicitly mentioning Brexit, HSBC’s statement says that it is “adjusting its activities” in light of “political and regulatory developments in Europe”.

The transfer will take place at the end of the first quarter of 2019, just before the UK leaves the EU in March.

The UK financial services sector – which makes up 11 percent of the country’s economy – has a lot to lose from Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out keeping the UK in the single market, meaning that banks will use their European financial passports, which allow them to offer their services throughout the European Economic Area.

The Financial Times reported on Monday that Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the UK's finance minister) told a group of British bankers in July that he fears that European countries led by France are trying to take advantage of Brexit to weaken the City.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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