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What's driving expat bankers to leave Paris - and locals to stay

Paris is struggling with bedbugs, but bankers moving cities (and jobs) might be influenced by other things more than their sleep quality.

One of those leaving the city is Andre Abreu Costa. Costa was with JPMorgan for 20 years, across a variety of roles, including head of Iberian sales & marketing. He’s now in New York to be the bank’s head of corporate equity solutions for North America. His journey took him across Lisbon, Madrid, London, and (until New York) Paris. Costa only spent a year and a half in the city, though, before leaving for the Americas.

Also in the French city – although not leaving it – is Rafaele De Vitis. De Vitis joined Standard Chartered, the kind-of-British bank, to be its European head of banks and broker dealers. He spent nearly a decade at Credit Agricole’s CIB before that.

It’s not hard to see why people are leaving Paris. The city has definitely been thriving since Brexit, but it’s a bit of a shotgun wedding for many bankers and traders. There’s a significant tax-free allowance for expats – one trader told us that it was 30% of their income – but it’s a benefit locked in to the particular firm the person works at. If they move, they lose. This has been drawing people to Milan instead, where they get to keep the tax-free allowance even if they move to another firm.

The expat tax situation in Paris means the easiest people to place in new roles are the locals. There’s no tax change when moving firms as a French banker – but there’s a pretty hefty one to moving as a non-French one. Not to suggest that either Costa or De Vitis were driven by this to move.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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