By Dave Uwakwe
The European Banking Authority (EBA)has finalised its move from London to Paris, marking another decisive step towards making Brexit a reality.
French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau and the banking authority’s interim chairman, Jo Swyngedouw, signed paperwork on Wednesday to make the transfer official.
Loiseau called it “one of the first concrete consequences of Brexit.”
The financial regulator, responsible for the “stress tests” carried out every two years on European banks, and its 200 employees will settle in the Europlaza tower in the La Défense financial district of Paris. However, the agencies staff wont begin to move to Paris until June 3rd.
The French capital was announced as the new headquarters in November 2017, beating competition from other EU cities like Dublin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, but the European Parliament and the Commission took a year to formally endorse the decision, so the signing of the lease was delayed until November 2018.
Unlike the European Medicines Agency, which lost a quarter of staff after it was announced that it will move from London to Amstersdam, the EBA has seen resignations, according to Philippe Allard, the chief of staff of the agencies director.
“We do not expect to see mass departures, especially with regard to key personnel,“ said Mr. Allard.
In part, this is due to the language fluency of its employees, who are required to speak at least two languages when they are hired, with many speaking more than three.
The European Banking Authority, an independent authority of the European Union, “works to ensure a level of effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision throughout the European banking sector, with the main objectives of maintaining financial stability in the European Union,” according to its mission statement.
The EBA belongs to the European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) launched in 2010 to address the shortcomings of financial supervision identified during the 2008 economic and financial crisis.
Although independent, the Authority is accountable to the European Parliament, the European Council of the European Union and the European Commission.