Four New Members Pledge Support to the Financial Centre

In the most recent Executive Board meeting, Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. accepted new sustaining members. Goldman Sachs, the law firm Taylor Wessing LLP and the FinTech consulting firm, Techfluence Consult UG have pledged their support to the financial centre, Frankfurt. WM Group joined already in April of this year.
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South Korean Delegation Visits Financial Centre Frankfurt

In October 2015, leading Korean FinTechs, including Finotek, Yello Finance Group and Data Stream Corp. visited the Financial Centre Frankfurt under the leadership of Congressman Kim Jung-Hoon. The delegation made forward looking cooperation agreements while in Frankfurt. In addition, meetings were held with KfW IPEX Bank and other Frankfurt institutions. A FinTech workshop organized by Frankfurt Main Finance brought together representatives from FinTech companies, universities and politics from both Busan and Frankfurt. Both Financial Centres see great potential for future exchange in the area of FinTech.

“We have created a trusting partnership with Korea. From derivatives trade to maritime financing to FinTech, these are all themes in which we closely cooperate. We have been especially successful in bringing together financial institutions, universities and young FinTechs from both sides.” explained Dr. Jochen Biedermann of Frankfurt Main Finance at the end of the visit.

Successful market launch of CEINEX

CEINEX Launch ceremony with Chinese ambassador and the CEOs of SSE and Deutsche Börse

China Europe International Exchange (CEINEX), the joint venture of Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), Deutsche Börse and China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX) was successfully launched today in Frankfurt. First trades have already taken place in the first hours of market operations.

At 9 a.m. CET, the executive board members of CEINEX, Han Chen (Co-CEO) and Jianhong Wu (Board Member) opened the new market place with a bell ringing at the Trading Floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The launch ceremony took place in the presence of the Chinese ambassador Mr Shi Mingde and CEOs of the owners: Mr Huang Hongyuan, President of Shanghai Stock Exchange, and Mr Carsten Kengeter, CEO of Deutsche Börse AG. Read more

Peking

Long-time cooperation between Hesse and Beijing

The friendly relations between Frankfurt and China go back to the eighties. The partnership with Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, was established as early as 1988.

In order to strengthen the economic ties between the cities of Frankfurt and Beijing, the Frankfurt Economic Development Company and the Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau signed a memorandum over friendly cooperation in August 2007.

Since then, the dynamic economic development in China, and especially in Beijing as the centre of the financial industry, has rapidly accelerated. In the third quarter of 2012, over 1,000 financial institutions and over 400 supervisory and regulatory bodies were headquartered in the Beijing Financial Street. Around 174,000 employees work there today for various kinds of financial service providers, which amounts to 70 percent of all employees in the finance sector throughout Beijing. The volume of financial assets totalled 62.1 trillion yuan RMB, accounting for almost 50 percent of the national total.

Accordingly, it was only logical for the financial hub Frankfurt to sign an agreement with Beijing in 2012 about long-term cooperation between the two financial centres. The arrangement centres on issues of financial market regulation and risk management as well as the education and training of managers and executives. The financial location Frankfurt is thus further expanding its excellent capabilities and contacts in these areas.

With its Xicheng District, Beijing is one of the most dynamic financial centres in the world. The collaboration is a valuable asset to the global network of the financial centre Frankfurt. Xicheng offers great business potential, which is to be developed for the financial industry in Hesse by the joint initiatives of the Hesse state government, the representatives of the economic community in Hesse and the financial centre Frankfurt.

The financial centre agreement is rounded off by an agreement to stage a Hessian-Chinese Economic and Trading Day in Frankfurt. The possibility of setting up a Chinese-Hessian business advisory board is being explored.

Shanghai

Hesse-Shanghai cooperation deepens relations with China

As well as with the capital Beijing, close links also exist with the 23 million metropolis of Shanghai. The Hesse-Shanghai Business Forum has been taking place every year since 2012, alternating between the cities of Shanghai and Frankfurt.

The first international Hesse-Shanghai Business Forum was staged in 2012 under the title “Financing of investment and trade – collaboration between banks and companies”. Around 200 visitors came together at the event. The Chinese participants expressed their approval about the outstanding infrastructure, the comprehensive range of business-related services, the number of highly skilled workers and the good educational facilities for Chinese children in the financial hub Frankfurt.

“Strengthening partnership and investment” was the title of the second Hesse-Shanghai Business Forum in 2013 in Shanghai. It focused on issues such as Frankfurt as a European centre for business transactions with the Chinese currency, the cooperation between the financial centres Shanghai and Frankfurt, and the financing of investment and trade in Germany and China.

The Chinese companies have a great interest in trading with and investing in the German federal state of Hesse. Many are looking for concrete discussions and financing partners for just that purpose. The Hesse-Shanghai Business Forum provides a good platform for such an exchange.

During the forum it once again became clear that Frankfurt’s development towards becoming the renminbi business centre for the euro area is moving forward rapidly. As early as 2012, Germany lay in first place in terms of cross-border renminbi payment transactions within Europe. If the Sino-German economic exchange increases from its figure of 130 billion euros in 2012 to 200 billion euros in 2015, as intended by the Chinese government, this position will be further enhanced. Many companies are making it clear that they want to use the renminbi (RMB) for their business transactions. The number of financial institutions in Germany that have traded in RMB increased from 17 to 62 within a year.

In China the development of an RMB Centre and a liberalised trade in goods and services is being particularly promoted in Shanghai. The establishment of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone is seen as a rehearsal for a gradual opening of the markets in China. An agreement with the city of Shanghai aims to exploit the opportunities arising from this endeavour through a close cooperation between the financial and economic centres of Shanghai and Frankfurt.

German-Chinese collaboration: an extraordinary success story

The Federal Republic of Germany and the People’s Republic of China established diplomatic relations in 1972. Since that time, both countries have been cultivating excellent political, economic and cultural relations.

Since 2004, the German-Chinese relations have been termed a “Strategic partnership with global responsibility” and have reached a new level through the establishment of annual government consultations. The last of these high-level consultations took place in Beijing in August 2012. Altogether, there are now more than 60 different dialogue forums, many of which are staged at a high government level.

There is also an active exchange of official, high-level visits between the two countries over and beyond the intergovernmental consultations. For instance, Prime Minister Li Keqiang already visited Germany during his first trip abroad in May 2013. On this occasion, he also inaugurated the German-Chinese Language Year together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The objective is to further promote the German language in China and the Chinese language in Germany.

What are the reasons for these outstanding bilateral relations? In Chinese consciousness, Germany is not burdened by a negative historical legacy in a similar way as, for example, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Japan or the United States. The fact that there are no historically conditioned prejudices against Germany in China is not the only reason for the high standing enjoyed by the Germans in the People’s Republic. Another important reason is the extremely good reputation of German industry. “Made in Germany” is synonymous with reliability, durability, and above all quality. Virtues such as hard work and discipline, regarded as typically German, are seen as the recipe for the country’s economic success.

The Deutsche Bank opened its first office in Shanghai more than 100 years ago and Siemens can also look back on a similarly long period of activity in China.

China has long gained a foothold in Frankfurt too. Guangzhou, the capital of the Chinese province of Guandong, has been its twin city since April 1988. Around 5,000 Chinese nationals live in the Main metropolis and more than 500 Chinese companies are resident in Frankfurt. 54 passenger aircraft take off to China from Frankfurt or land in Frankfurt from China every week; around 100,000 Chinese tourists visited the city during the past year. Also helpful for the reputation of the city of Frankfurt in China is the passion of the Chinese people for football: every single game of the German Bundesliga is broadcast in China.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Märkisches Ufer 54
10179 Berlin
+49 30 27 58 80
www.china-botschaft.de

Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China

Mainzer Landstr. 175
60327 Frankfurt am Main
+49 (0)69 90734687
www.china-botschaft.de

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Peking 17, Dong Zhi Men Wai Da Jie,
Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100600
+86 10 85 32 90 00
http://www.peking.diplo.de

Consulate-General of the Federal Republic of Germany

Kanton 14th floor, Teem Tower,
208 Tianhe Road,
Tianhe District, Guangzhou – 510620
+86 20 83 13 00 00
http://www.kanton.diplo.de

Financial Centre Focus: moderate jobs reductions at Frankfurt’s banks

The financial center Frankfurt has a good chance to emerge as a relative winner from the adjustment process in the financial world brought on by the crisis. So far, the number of banks has barely dropped in the wake of the financial crisis, and the metropolis on the Main has proved itself an attractive center for foreign players. Several foreign banks are planning to expand their business activities and are already looking for more highly qualified specialists.

The trend toward a concentration of German banking employment in the financial center on the Main also limits the job reductions in Frankfurt. Between now and the end of 2012, we expect to see a decline in employment of around 3 % at Frankfurt’s banks as a result of consolidation, which means that we have halfway to go. The overall decline in jobs of 6 % would thus be only half of what it was after the bursting of the dotcom bubble.

To the complete Helaba study

Financial Centre Study: Frankfurt is a magnet for foreign banks

The financial center Frankfurt is a highly attractive location for foreign banks. This is the conclusion drawn from the findings of the current Financial Center Survey carried out by Helaba, which has been presented in January 2011. “One of the most important prerequisites for the sustained success of a financial center is its internationality. The fact that about 200 foreign banks from 40 nations are located here, demonstrates the good competitive position of Frankfurt. Nevertheless, we need to further sharpen the profile of the location. For us as the leading regional bank in the economic region of Hesse, promoting the financial center Frankfurt will therefore also in the future remain one of our main concerns – be it by conducting specific research on the financial center, by supporting the Financial Center Index calculated by the Center for Financial Studies, or by supporting the Initiative Frankfurt Main Finance,” says Hans-Dieter Brenner, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen.

For the foreign banks, four location factors in particular have been crucial for their decision to locate in Frankfurt: ‘Reputation of the financial center and the national economy,’ ‘Proximity to important players,’ ‘Function as a hub,’ and ‘Location-specific qualities’ – such as low cost of living and office rents. “From the point of view of the foreign banks located in Frankfurt, the city is the leading financial center in Continental Europe and is expected to uphold this position also in the future. The decisive factors for the choice of this location by foreign banks are Frankfurt’s excellent reputation in the financial community and, increasingly, also the outstanding significance of the German economy,” explains Dr. Gertrud R. Traud, Chief Economist of Helaba.

When it comes to Frankfurt’s positioning in the future, there was an unequivocal sentiment shared by both surveys: The financial center Frankfurt will retain its uncontested leadership position in Germany. “As for cross-border competition, the foreign banks continue to accord Frankfurt good development prospects, also in relation to London,” underlines Stefan Winter, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany.

The survey is based on a poll among foreign banks that only recently came to Frankfurt, and which was performed by Helaba in cooperation with the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany. A total of 20 foreign banks participated in the poll.

The complete Helaba Financial Center Survey 2011

Financial Centre Focus: bank employment in Frankfurt – no need to panic

As a result of the crisis, a very perceptible consolidation process in the German financial sector is underway. In many banks jobs are being shed to reduce costs. Although the financial centre of Frankfurt will not be able to resist this development completely, there are many factors that should militate against a drastic staff reduction in the local financial sector. As a consequence, it can be assumed that there will be a moderate adjustment process, which will be spread over many years. By the end of 2014, we anticipate that employment in the German financial centre will decline by around 2 % to approximately 73,000 banking staff. That would mean that there will most likely be a loss of around another 1,500 jobs in Frankfurt’s bank towers and that the number of redundancies resulting from the crisis would only just top the 3,000 mark. This shows how well the financial centre of Frankfurt has come through the crisis, in particular when com-pared to other countries. Its significance as the German financial centre and as a European hub of financial supervision is growing. On the flipside of these opportunities for positioning itself in the international competition among financial centres are the risks of overregulation.

To the complete study in English

Financial Centre Focus: Frankfurt advances to become capital of European banking supervision

The financial centre of Frankfurt is increasingly sharpening its profile as the European hub of financial supervision. In the current development of the European system of regulation and supervision, Germany’s leading financial centre, which is already the location of a number of supervisory institutions, has a crucial role to play. Read more