Germany’s financial centre Frankfurt, home to Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, is seeking to lure financial institutions from Britain, vying with Paris and other European cities to attract business from London, Europe’s dominant financial centre.
“Frankfurt is a love at second sight. But a love that lasts all the longer,” state secretary Thomas Steffen, a senior finance ministry official, said at a banking conference on Monday.
“I have to say that we at the finance ministry are registering an increasing number of requests. And we are very, very open to such discussions,” he said.
He said he expected a number of decisions to be taken early in 2017.
Frankfurt is in a strong position to benefit from any shift of banking activity from London after the Brexit vote, given it already hosts the European Central Bank and the EU’s second biggest capital market, city and banking industry officials say.
Frankfurt is also keen to secure the European Banking Authority (EBA), which oversees the regulation of banks across the European Union and has already said it will have to move from London after Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Steffen said the EBA would be in good hands in Frankfurt, considering the city was already home to the European Central Bank, its banking supervisor SSM and insurance watchdog EIOPA.
Global banks have begun to quietly build up their investment banking teams in Frankfurt, boosting the city’s chances of being one of the financial centres to benefit most from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
Sources have told Reuters that Goldman Sachs is considering shifting some of its assets and operations from London to Frankfurt, as it tries to secure access to the European Union market when Britain leaves the bloc.
Deutsche Bank’s Chief Financial Officer Marcus Schenck said while Frankfurt was best-placed among continental cities to attract business from London, the UK capital’s ‘microcosm’ of infrastructure for financial services firms was hard to replicate.
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