Deutsche Bundesbank – Learning from European cooperation in the field of financial stability

The Corona pandemic exposes the fragilities of our societies and economies. Policymakers at all levels are taking decisive action to protect firms and households. Common European action is highly desirable and feasible. We need to evoke the positive forces that give us strength. We need to find pragmatic solutions. European cooperation is indeed working better than often claimed. Financial stability is a prominent example: a lot has been achieved since the global financial crisis. We can be proud of these developments and learn from this experience.

Many people are asking themselves “what is the EU doing to tackle the crisis?” In our policy field, financial stability, a lot is being done.

A well-functioning financial system is not an end in itself. It is there to make the economy work; to foster sound investment and saving; to ensure safe and efficient payments.

Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, the resilience of the banking sector had been strengthened, thanks to the reforms of the past decade. European and national supervisors have now been able to release buffers of capital and liquidity in order to allow banks to lend more. Supervisors also recommended to financial institutions not to finance payouts, in order to increase their resilience. All this has been done by exploiting flexibility in the rules; it does not mean reversing the reforms, which have made banks more robust ahead of the crisis.

In line with their responsibilities and mandate, the ECB and national central banks have acted promptly and decisively to avoid a downward spiral in price expectations and to ensure a smooth flow of liquidity to firms and orderly conditions on markets.


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Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration and Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. sign Memorandum of Understanding

Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration and Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. strengthen their cooperation. From May 9th to May 10th, 2019, a Chinese delegation with 11 representatives from the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration and some Guangzhou local state-owned enterprises visited the Financial Centre Frankfurt to conduct a two-day business visit. During these two days, the delegation had meetings with various financial organizations and several agreements on bilateral cooperation plans were achieved.

On the first day of the visit, the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration and Frankfurt Main Finance (FMF), committed to a long-term cooperation in a Memorandum of Understanding. Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V., and Qiu Yitong, Director of the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration, signed the agreement at Frankfurt’s city hall, the Römer. Dr. Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg, Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt, also greeted the delegation with a welcome speech. The partnership is an important milestone in the bilateral cooperation of both financial Centres and will guide the future implementation of a series of joint projects between both organisations.

The agreement focuses on many key issues facing today’s financial industry such as Green Finance, FinTech, and Cross-border Finance. The agreement aims to foster the development of an effective cooperation via joint programs, financial trainings, research activities, workshops, publications and study trips. Moreover, both parties will further explore the establishment of a Guangzhou-Frankfurt Financial Alliance.

Qiu Yitong, Director of Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration, stated, “Guangzhou is the only city in China’s history that has never closed its door to trading with to the rest of world – and Guangzhou would like to open its door even wider in the future. We hope that we can learn more from Frankfurt about how to develop into a leading Financial Centre.”

Frankfurt Main Finance’s Managing Director Hubertus Väth declared, “We are delighted to sign the MoU with the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration today. We look forward to the fruitful cooperation in the future.”

During their two-day visit of the Financial Centre Frankfurt, the Guangzhou delegation also visited the CEINEX (China Europe International Exchange), the BaFin and Deutsch Bank. As many enterprise representatives from the delegation stated, Guangzhou is one of the most active trading cities in China. Participating in an international capital market is an important step for all enterprises pursuing an international development strategy. Frankfurt, as the “financial heart” of Europe, is a very good choice for these enterprises as they can benefit from the proximity to the banking sector, various stock exchanges, and regulatory authorities. Moreover, Guangzhous local enterprises are keen to attract financial institutions from Frankfurt and to foster cooperation.

Front (from left): Dr. Lutz Raettig, President Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. and Qiu Yitong, Director Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration. – Back(from left): Liu Xianchang, Director Economic Development and Finance Bureau of Guangzhou Aerotropolis Development District, Gao Shudong, Director Guangzhou Development District Bureau of Financial Affairs, Deng Xiaoyun, Director China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Nansha Area of Guangzhou and Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technological Development Zone Bureau of Financial Affairs, Dr. Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg, Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt, Hubertus Väth, Managing Director Frankfurt Main Finance e.V., Eduard Hechler, Director International Affairs City of Frankfurt and Dr. Jochen Biedermann, Senior Advisor Frankfurt Main Finance e.V.

Said Ibrahimi, CEO of Casablanca Finance City and Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Conference of Montreal.

Casablanca Finance City Authority and Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. commit to long-term cooperation

In a Memorandum of Understanding, Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. (FMF) and the Moroccan Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFC) agreed on a long-term cooperation. Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, and Said Ibrahimi, CEO of the Casablanca Finance City Authority, signed the memorandum on 11 June 2018, at the Conference of Montreal.

The agreement focuses on current issues facing the financial industry such as green and sustainable finance as well as fintech start-ups. Moreover, the memorandum emphasizes the commitment of both financial centres to promote business opportunities in their respective economic regions, namely the Eurozone and Africa. Additionally, the agreement aims to foster the development of an effective cooperation via joint programs, financial trainings, research activities, workshops, publications and study trips.

Frankfurt Main Finance’s Managing Director Hubertus Väth declared, “Africa offers many opportunities for the financial industry. Inclusion and sustainability are important keywords. We look forward to working with Casablanca, a young yet leading financial centre on the African continent.”
Said Ibrahimi, CEO of Casablanca Finance City, stated, “We are delighted to sign this memorandum of understanding with Frankfurt Main Finance, the leading financial centre in the eurozone. The partnership will undoubtedly reinforce the business cooperation between the Eurozone and Africa in the fields of green/sustainable finance and Fintech.”

In the upcoming weeks and months, Frankfurt and Casablanca will implement their joint plans and thus, strengthen their positions as leading financial centres.

The Financial Centres Frankfurt and Astana intend to work more closely together

Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. (FMF) and the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) from Kazakhstan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the two financial hubs on Friday, 17.11.2017.

The AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov and Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance signed the MoU agreement on the premises of the company Economic Development Frankfurt in the presence of the Kazakh Ambassador Bolat Nussupov, City Councillor Markus Frank, Managing Director of Frankfurt Economic Development Oliver Schwebel, and Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of FMF.

An AIFC delegation visited Frankfurt am Main last week. In addition to holding several meetings with Frankfurt Main Finance and FMF members such as German banks, the delegation attended the Astana International Financial Centre Forum within the framework of the Euro Finance Week, where Kairat Kelimbetov and his team presented their extensive plans for the years ahead.

“Astana is a young and ambitious financial centre, with which we have enjoyed a close and friendly relationship for many years,” as Frankfurt Main Finance President Dr. Lutz Raettig described the links to the Kazakh financial centre.

Hubertus Väth sees great potential in the new agreement that has been reached: “There are many different opportunities for collaboration in the fields of infrastructure, training, or internal and external financial centre marketing.”

Frankfurt and Astana will be implementing their joint plans over the next few weeks and months and will thus be making a contribution together towards strengthening their respective financial centres.

Frankfurt and Istanbul Cooperate Successfully in the Finance Sector

Mayor Feldmann sees positive results on Istanbul visit: submits concrete projects to develop digital infrastructure and locations

(Pia) In a recent visit Istanbul, Mayor Peter Feldmann and his 20-member delegation were received by Ahmet Selamet, the Deputy Mayor of the 15 million person metropolis. Conversations focused on a mid-term review of 2012’s Memorandum of Understanding, on economic cooperation in the development of Istanbul as a financial centre.

Since 2012, several expert meetings and workshops have been held in Frankfurt and Istanbul, most recently at the Istanbul Finance Summit in 2014. Core themes in consultation with Frankfurt Economic Development and Frankfurt Main Finance were the development of a financial centre cluster, the spatial development of financial centres and the necessary digital infrastructure. To this end, Frank Orlowski of DE-CIX Frankfurt served as a competent representative of the Digital Hub FrankfurtRheinMain.

The City of Istanbul was especially pleased to see that Mayor Feldmann and the Frankfurt Economic Development already had two concrete project proposals: plans to develop a digital infrastructure and a settlement strategy for the growing financial centre Istanbul.

Press release on the City of Frankfurt website (German).


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.


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.

Unterzeichnung MoU Frankfurt und Busan

Frankfurt Main Finance Signs Cooperation Agreement with South Korean Financial Centre Busan

The South Korean city of Busan and Frankfurt Main Finance aim to mutually promote and strengthen their financial centres. This is the subject of the Memorandum of Understanding, signed today by representatives of both parties at the premises of Frankfurt Main Finance. The city of Busan was represented by Deputy Mayor Cho Donyoung, as part of a delegation visit made up of representatives from the Korean finance industry and government officials. Frankfurt Main Finance was represented by Wilhelm Speckhardt, Mayor of Eschborn, in his capacity as member of the Management Board and the Executive Committee. Read more