Part of that is a multi-year, PLN1 trillion (EUR233bn) plan to make the economy more innovative and to rely on domestic capital rather than a foreign investment, said deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
“Poles were moving to London, now companies from London are relocating their workplaces to Poland,” Morawiecki added. The government has received information on plans of “several dozen” investments, including some “big ones.”
Frankfurt and Paris are vying to coax big banks and their euro clearing operations away from London, lower-wage countries in CEE are wooing companies to resettle their back-office and other operations in the region’s booming shared service centers.
A recruitment survey done in 2015 by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., shown that banking salary levels were “flattening out” between eastern and western Europe. The report said that “several years ago” a financial director at a medium-size Polish company earned 30 to 40 per cent less than in Britain, while an accountant earned between a third and half of a Briton’s salary. Now the differences are smaller, it said.
Goldman Sachs, which is planning to cut its London staff in half to 3,000 workers, will expand its Warsaw office to “several hundred” people over the next three years, Handelsblatt reported.
JP Morgan Chase & Co. may move as many as 2,500 jobs to Central Europe, Warsaw-based Puls Biznesu reported. The bank is considering creating back-office positions in Poland as part of a plan to continue to look for alternative places for operations, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
Poland wants the European Bank Authority and other financial institutions to move their offices from London to Poland, Puls Biznesu cited the head of the country’s top financial supervision agency saying.
London, an entry point to the European Union’s single market in financial services, will lose its status after the completion of Brexit, with many international institutions already scouting locations to transfer at least parts of their services.
“We want to bring financial institutions to Poland, including these that are now based in London,” the newspaper cited Marek Chrzanowski, head of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, as saying in an interview. “I’ve been meeting with representatives of foreign financial groups (…) I would also like us to put efforts in bringing the European Banking Authority (EBA) from London (to Poland).”
Morawiecki met top managers from such institutions as: the Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Barclays, Citibank, BNP Paribas, and others. He is also going to negotiate with investment funds (Schroders, Pimco and BlackRock). A few years ago the minister himself used to serve as a chairman of BZ WBK, a bank now being part of the Santander group.
Morawiecki wants British-based companies to transfer their middle- and back-office operations to Poland. The minister told the Financial Times that Poland’s biggest assets are human resources – well-educated, hard-working and creative people.
Government plans focus on Polish universities, which could shape their curricula in ways most suitable for foreign investors, so that graduates could be even more specialized in areas such as finance and IT.
If the plan of attracting UK investors works out, Polish shared services centers will grow even further. Currently there are about 200,000 people working in the SSC sector in Poland.
Big London banks have started building up operations in the somewhat surprising location of Wrocław, in Lower Silesia region. While several banks have announced major expansions in the city since last summer’s British vote to leave the European Union, a spokeswoman for one bank said a recent visit to Wrocław by its executives “had nothing to do with London jobs or Brexit.”
Wroclaw and other Polish cities are pitching a tempting line to banks whose ability to do business in the EU may be significantly hampered if the UK makes the “hard Brexit” Prime Minister Theresa May recently pledged to do.
According to the WSJ, J.P. Morgan Chase, whose executives recently toured Wroclaw, could hire some 2,000 people in Poland. Credit Suisse Group already employs 4,000 in the city and Bank of New York Mellon has 1,000 staff there.
The WSJ cites an estimate by the Association of Business Leaders in Poland that as many as 20,000 jobs in financial services and related sectors could be created in the country this year.