July 20, 2017 / 12:28 PM / a year ago

Moody's expects Brexit relocation costs for French banks will be manageable

PARIS, July 20 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Moody’s said French banks, such as BNP Paribas and Societe Generale , may have to relocate some EU-related activities from London to the continent as a result of Brexit, but the costs should be manageable.

Banks are working on ways to ensure they can continue to serve clients if their London operations lose the ability to operate in the EU after Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019.

“Some banks using London as one of their main capital market hubs, such as BNP Paribas and Societe Generale, may have to transfer a large part of these activities (carried out with EU clients and counterparties) to the continent,” the agency said in a report in which it gave a stable credit outlook for the French banking sector.

“This may generate operational challenges and additional relocation costs for these banks, which we expect will be manageable.”

Societe Generale could move 400 corporate and investment banking jobs from London as part of its Brexit plans, with most of them going to Paris, Chief Executive Frederic Oudea told Reuters this month.

Credit Agricole could relocate about 100 employees from its London hub to France out of 1,000 based there in the case of a “hard” Brexit, its chief executive said in March.

BNP Paribas may move up to 300 London investment bank staff, depending on how clients adapt and on the French bank’s efforts to win new UK business, a source told Reuters in May. (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; editing by Susan Thomas)

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