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LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - Several thousands jobs will probably be relocated to Paris as a result of Britain's decision to leave the European Union, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday during a visit to London.
Executives and lobbyists told Reuters last month that Paris and Frankfurt were set to see a trickle rather than a wave of London bankers arrive this year, with the prospect of a softer Brexit discouraging them from leaving Britain immediately.
The French government has been actively seeking to convince banks to move jobs to Paris and introducing incentives like tax breaks and pledges to open more English language schools for bankers' children.
"The banking jobs that come back to France will be several thousand jobs, not hundreds," he told journalists without offering the names of banks that could shift jobs to the French capital.
"The shift will come gradually and not over one day," Le Maire said.
A source close to the minister said in January that the government hoped about 3,000 jobs would be moved to Paris by 2019.
Le Maire added that banks might conclude it would be easier to expand in Paris as the realisation sunk in that it would be more complicated to offer services across the EU from London after Brexit with the loss of their financial services passport rights.
Le Maire met with banking executives during the trip and was due to meet JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon later Tuesday evening. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus, writing by Leigh Thomas; editing by Michel Rose)