The BNP Paribas group has set out plans to expand its banking footprint among mid-corporates in the UK, as Brexit occupies competitors in the UK market.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Anne Marie Verstraeten, BNP country head for the UK who also sits on Leasing Solutions’ board of directors, said: “Following the crisis, many corporates have noticed that there is less of a choice of banking partners, especially of those who are very well placed locally but who also really can act in Europe and internationally … That description is us, really.”
BNP Paribas has drawn up a mission statement to increase its presence in the UK. It aims to increase its UK large companies customer base by 350 from its current 1,700.
The group also boosted its leadership in the country, hiring figures from the likes of Barclays, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase to head its British corporate and investment banking operations.
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has also been in a drive to refresh its UK staff. It recently moved Miguel Cabaça from Paris to the UK to oversee Arval’s local operations, as well as appointing Jean-Michel Boyer as country head and putting Siemens Financial Services’ Hoof in the newly-created role of head of healthcare.
Vestraeten added: “The UK is a very big economy . . . The bank knows this market well and the opportunities seem to be there. There are many mid-caps in the FTSE 350 or in [London Stock Exchange’s] AIM that are either international or will be.”
Yannick Jung, recently appointed head of BNP’s global banking for Europe, said that the group intended to gain an edge as other banks are “distracted” by Brexit and other issues.
He said: “The likes of Barclays — our leading UK competitor, for which we have the utmost respect — have distractions of their own, having to separate their retail and investment banking operations and facing lower consumer spending due to Brexit.”