France to hold U.S. roadshows to attract business to Paris post-Brexit

PARIS, March 30 (Reuters) - Top French financiers will

travel to the United States in May to try to attract U.S

business to Paris following Britain's decision to quit the

European Union.

Paris Europlace - an organisation representing French

business and finance - said in its March newsletter published on

Thursday that it would hold roadshows in Boston and New York on

May 22 and 23 aimed at persuading U.S. finance companies to

choose Paris as their European base.

The organisation said it had already held about 100 meetings

with executives of large international banks as well as asset

management, investment, insurance and fintech companies in

London, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo and these had shown a

"clear interest" in Paris.

Both France and Germany have stepped up efforts to try to

replace London's traditional role as Europe's main centre of

business, following Britain's vote for Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May formally began Britain's divorce

from the EU on Wednesday, declaring there was no turning back

and opening a tortuous exit process that will test the bloc's

cohesion and pitch her country into the unknown.

French officials have already held events in London this

year to try to lure financial jobs over to Paris, in the wake of

the Brexit vote.

HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, has said it could move

a part of its operations to Paris, while the French capital's

standing in the technology sector was also boosted by Facebook's

decision this year to open its first ever start-up

incubator in the city.

Paris' status as a major world city and capital of fashion

and culture work in its favour, although analysts say France's

strict labour laws could put off employers.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Adrian Croft)