High earners say au revoir to France As summer draws near, thoughts of the well-heeled Parisian turn to Le Grand DÃ©part http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/globalbusiness/9261905/High-earners-say-au-revoir-to-France.html By Emma Rowley, Anna White and Helia Ebrahimi 9:30PM BST 12 May 2012 The toppling of Nicolas Sarkozy by FranÃ§ois Hollande, the first socialist president to lead the country in 17 years, has sent ripples of fear through the wealthier arrondissements of Paris. Mr Hollande plans to implement a 75pc tax rate on earnings over â¬1m (Â£800,000), on top of a 45pc rate for people making â¬150,000 or more. He is also expected to raise "wealth taxes" on property assets and end his predecessor's tax incentives to lure bankers back home. In addition, France's high earners feel increasingly unwelcome in a country now led by a man who has admitted: "I don't like the rich." So where are they looking? London. It comes as no surprise â while Hollande prepares to raise taxes, over here David Cameron is cutting the 50pc tax rate for income above Â£150,000 to 45pc. London, of course, already has a French population in the hundreds of thousands, with Chelsea and South Kensington â dubbed the unofficial 21st arrondissement of Paris â packed with French bankers and their families. All of France's major banks have subsidiaries in the UK. But now the floodgates are creaking open. Estate agents report a spike in interest over the past few weeks as Hollande's victory seemed certain, with people specifically citing the election as a reason to start looking. James Pace, head of Knight Frank's Chelsea and South Kensington offices, said one French financier told him Hollande's arrival would mark "the third biggest exodus from France â the first being the Revolution and the second when Mitterrand [the last socialist president] got into power". "The exodus will mean a lot of France's biggest earners relocate to London," said a hedge fund manager.