Frankfurt gains Brexit boost with relentless lobbying
FRANKFURT AM MAIN: One year on from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, determined lobbying and political leverage have helped German financial capital Frankfurt grab pole position in the race for bank business quitting London. Wheels were turning in the financial world well before British Prime Minister Theresa May formally notified the EU at the end of March that she planned to lead the UK out of the 28-member bloc.
Once Brexit is finalized, financial firms could lose so-called “passporting” rules that allow them to sell financial services across the EU from London-prompting many to look to the remaining 27 states for a new base. In Frankfurt, public- and private-sector organizations set out to woo banks to the city on the river Main, where construction workers and cranes are busily adding floors to new skyscrapers being built.
Their efforts have been crowned with success. Last week, major Korean bank Woori announced that it would apply for a German banking license, matching decisions from Japan’s Nomura, Daiwa and Sumitomo investment banks. Meanwhile, US giant Goldman Sachs announced in mid-June that it would be doubling its staff in Frankfurt from the present number of 200. “Frankfurt’s chances of profiting from Brexit have significantly increased in the past few months,” said Michael Kemmer, general manager of the Association of German Banks (BDB). —AFP