Today, John Flint, the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC, has said that the company has so far relocated only a “tiny” number of jobs to Paris in order to deal with Brexit. His remarks come in the most detailed comments of the bank on its plans.
On the sidelines of the annual shareholders’ meeting of the bank in Birmingham, Flint said that the total number of jobs that were relocated is likely lower than 100 of as many as 1,000 that the bank has said it could ultimately move.
He stated: “I would imagine it’s tens, I don’t know exactly but it’s a tiny number of people who have moved so far.”
Ewen Stevenson, the Chief Financial Officer of HSBC, said that the lender would likely reduce the pace of relocating the jobs because of the recent uncertainty over the outcome of the negotiations with the European Union.
The repeated failure of British Prime Minister Theresa May to get her withdrawal agreement through parliament has left lingering uncertainty as to when, or indeed if, the United Kingdom will exit the bloc. This week, the leaders of the European Union agreed that Brexit was to be delayed until the 31st of October.
The update from the largest bank of Europe on how many roles it has relocated so far comes amid concerns in the United Kingdom that Brexit could ultimately lead to a drop in the status of London as the leading financial hub in the continent.
A survey that was conducted by Reuters last February discovered that financial services companies are expected to move approximately 2,000 jobs as a result of Brexit, a fifth of the 10,000 that were flagged in a survey last September 2017.
During the meeting, HSBC also faced questions from climate change activist groups over its financing of coal power-related projects in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.
Last year, the bank ended funding fossil fuel projects in all other nation, however, it said that a lack of alternatives in those three meant that it would continue there for now.
Flint stated: “We don’t agree that we need to bring an immediate end to financing of all fossil fuels.”