PARIS, May 17 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas may move up to 300 London investment bank staff due to Britain’s European Union exit, depending on how clients adapt and on the French bank's efforts to win new British business, a source told Reuters.
Britain's vote to leave the EU has forced global banks to examine where to move, given they expect to lose the necessary "passporting" licence to operate on both sides of the Channel.
The largest global banks in London plan to shift thousands of jobs to the continent over the next two years, public statements and information from sources shows, as the exodus of finance jobs starts to take shape.
BNP Paribas, which declined to comment on its plans, had 3,123 staff in its corporate and institutional bank (CIB) in Britain at end-2016, down from 3,294 a year ago, internal documents seen by Reuters showed.
Credit Agricole, France's third-biggest listed bank, has said that it could move about one hundred of its 1,000 employees based in its London hub to France.
And Deutsche Bank has said it may have to move as many as 4,000 jobs out, but BNP and Societe Generale say they have a relative competitive 'Brexit' edge because with hubs in both Paris and London it is easier for them to adapt.
BNP Paribas would seek to protect its London CIB jobs by finding new clients - partly as a result of the Brexit upheaval - in order to keep its staff busy so that employees do not have to move out of the UK, the source said.
London is a key hub for BNP Paribas' global markets business worldwide, which comprises credit markets, rates, prime solutions and financing, equity and commodity derivatives.
BNP said at an investor day earlier this year that it planned to win more clients at its corporate and institutional bank in Northern Europe with the focus on Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia.
But it is also cutting investment banking costs in via staff cuts in France, Britain and Luxembourg expected by the end of 2018, as it seeks to boost profitability. (Editing by Andrew Callus and Alexander Smith)