BNP Paribas tells staff to sign new contracts or go home

Pen And Paper

The harsh realities of life are kicking in - sign up or ship out.

BNP Paribas traders based in London say the French bank is putting 'a gun to our heads' over demands they sign a British contract that removes some of their perks.

The Telegraph reports that around 150 trading professionals moved from Paris to the City 'several years ago' on expatriate contracts. As their contracts are ending, the bank has told the staff that they must sign a new agreement that promises fewer holidays and lower pension contributions.

BNP has told the traders that if they fail to agree to the new terms within four weeks, they must report back to Paris.

'As their expat contracts end, it’s time to go back to France or sign new contracts', a BNP source told the Telegraph on Wednesday.

However, the bankers fear for their jobs as they believe there are no positions available in the lender’s French business.

'We lose an important part of our compensation', one trader told Le Monde. 'Also, it is well known that there are no equivalent positions for us in Paris'.

Reuters reports that a bank spokesman said the change would result in 'equitable treatment' for the expatriates relative to some 400 French BNP Paribas traders in London who already work under British contracts.

'We are applying the rules already in place at our competitors', the spokesman said.

He also denied that switching traders to British contracts was a way of making it easier to fire them. French labour law offers more protection to employees and layoff-related lawsuits tend to be costly and drawn-out affairs.

BNP Paribas' UK traders say bank is 'holding gun to our heads' over new British contracts

BNP Paribas London expats told to go local or go home

image: © Kristian D

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