Paris will host EU banking authority

The EBA is currently located at Canary Wharf and is set to leave after Brexit

Paris is to host the European Banking Authority after Brexit it was decided last night.

The French capital was chosen over Dublin after a random draw was held to decide the winner when the two cities gained equal votes in a poll among EU27 finance ministers.

The choice was immediately welcomed by President Macron, who has previously expressed hopes that Brexit will boost Paris as a financial centre.

He wrote (in French): “Paris will welcome the EBA! It is the recognition of the attractiveness and the European commitment of France. I’m happy and proud for our country.”

The decision was also hailed by Paris Mayor Anne Hidaldo, who said it was “a collective victory” which “shows once again the attractiveness of our capital and its financial market”.

The decision means Paris will be home to two key EU banking bodies as it already hosts the European Securities and Markets Authority.

Other capitals which had been put forward as potential hosts included Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Brussels, Warsaw and Vienna.

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The ministers also voted for a new home for the other large EU agency currently located in London – the European Medicines Agency (around 900 employees) – which will move to Amsterdam. 

The EBA, at present based in 1 Canada Square (Canary Wharf Tower), employs around 170 people and is the EU’s main banking regulator

Its job includes working out banking technical standards and guidelines so as to harmonise rules in the EU, checking on countries’ compliance with rules and running ‘stress tests’ on banks to check they are not at risk.

The EU has said it expects the UK to pay the costs of relocating the agencies as part of the exit settlement because Brexit has made it necessary since key EU agencies cannot be located in a non-EU state.

A final move date has not been clarified, but the EBA is reportedly preparing to start moving staff starting from the expected Brexit date of the end of March 2019. 

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