Should Ireland brace itself for an influx of French financiers?

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The City of London is bracing itself for an influx of French financiers, desperate to escape the higher rate of income tax set to be imposed in the country. Could Ireland’s financial sector also benefit?

The very highest earnings – taking home over €1m a year – will soon be forced to pay 75% tax under new proposals from the French government. However, even those earning over €71k will soon have to pay 43% instead of 41%, which includes the vast majority of those working in the financial sector.

Not surprisingly, more French bankers are seeking new opportunities in London, where the breadth of financial services roles and the number of opportunities are greater than Paris. A side effect of this is that French banks are considering relocating functions to London in order to accommodate the wishes of their workers and not lose key staff.

Ireland’s low corporate tax rate could prove alluring to companies and the IFSC does employ a multitude of nationalities. However, most French financiers looking to leave will be seeking investment banking jobs – particularly derivatives because of the high-calibre of quantitative finance degrees on offer there – and this is not something Ireland traditionally excels in.

It is possible, however, to earn €90-120k as a quant analyst working in Dublin and there’s an ongoing demand for this locally.

Nonetheless, one financial services recruiter in Ireland remains unconvinced. “There's a big demand for people with German and Nordic languages within financial services firms. However, French people don’t generally apply and this hasn’t changed in the past couple of months.”

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