FinTech ecosystem

Welcome to Frankfurt – Germany’s leading FinTech ecosystem

Hessen Trade and Invest has, in cooperation with Frankfurt Main Finance and Wirtschafts- und Infrastrukturbank Hessen, published a new brochure highlighting the many qualities of the FinTech ecosystem in the Frankfurt Rhein-Main region. Hessen Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development, Tarek Al-Wazir states in the brochure, “The digital transition taking place in the financial industry represents an opportunity that we are ideally equipped to capitalize on. The Rhine-Main region is a financial center as well as an ICT industry hot spot. This combination offers enormous potential in today’s world where digital technologies are giving rise to the creation of entirely new business models. And it is precisely this potential that we are now in the process of mobilizing.”

The brochure offers a concrete outline of why Frankfurt and Hessen offers the perfect conditions for international investors and FinTech start-ups. The Financial Centre Frankfurt offers FinTech companies a unique set of location specific advantages. In addition to the numerous supervisory authorities and regulatory agencies, the greater Frankfurt area is home to outstanding expertise in the ever-important are of IT security. In November 2016, the German federal government designated the Financial Centre Frankfurt the digital hub for FinTech and financial services as part of their greater digital hubs initiative.

Frankfurt am Main is already home to great FinTech success stories. One such example is 360T, an electronic FX trading venue that was acquired by Deutsche Börse Group in 2015 for 725 million euros. Another success story is Frankfurt based robo-advisor Vaamo. Born out of the Goethe University’s Unibator, Vaamo quickly became a partner in the B2B segment, working with the likes of N26, Santander and 1822direkt.

Future success stories in the FinTech space are currently being written in Frankfurt’s many incubators and accelerators. As part of the Digital Hub initiative, Frankfurt’s Tech Quartier was named the German FinTech Hub. Tech Quartier offers a varying array of working spaces for start-ups of all sizes. The FinTech brochure maps out the locations of Frankfurt’s incubators and accelerators, like the Deutsche Börse FinTech Hub or Accelerator Frankfurt, illustrating the dynamic FinTech ecosystem and cluster. This dynamic ecosystem is enriched by a numerous events series occurring almost weekly as well as awards for entrepreneurs, like the FinTechGermany Award where the top FinTechs are honored with a Golden Garage.

To learn more about Germany’s leading FinTech ecosystem in the heart of Europe, download the brochure from Hessen Trade and Invest here.


Financial Centre Report

Building Bridges – Frankfurt and Europe after Brexit. The new Financial Centre Report from Frankfurt Main Finance

The new Financial Centre Report, Building Bridges – Frankfurt and Europe after Brexit, from Frankfurt Main Finance has just been released. Designed as a magazine, the Main Metropolis is presented from varying perspectives and demonstrates the city’s strengths and the distinct characteristics that set it apart. The first section of the report is devoted to the many facets of the Financial Centre Frankfurt. The second part of the report, Insights, analyzes economic issues and takes a critical look at the opportunities for the Financial Centre following Brexit.

In the forward from Hessian Minister for Economic Affairs, Tarek Al-Wazir, the minister recalls the rise of Frankfurt as the most important Financial Centre in Continental Europe. He points to the multitude of challenges the financial industry faces today. Reflecting on the demands on the industry to re-invent and re-establish itself through digitization. Helping to tackle these challenges is the thriving FinTech scene in the Rhine-Main region.

Another current challenge is coping with the reorientation of the European financial sector following and finding future oriented solutions for this. The title of the Financial Centre Report, Building Bridges, is born from this challenge. The report explains how Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region are helping to future-proof the European Financial Sector and continue ensuring it can efficiently support the real economy.

The publication from Frankfurt Main Finance casts a spotlight on the Financial Centre Frankfurt and introduces insights that work together to paint an impressive and coherent picture. After the lighter, more personal look at the Main Metropolis in the first section, the following half delves into a fact-based analysis of the Financial Centre Frankfurt and the region. Readers will appreciate the careful exploration of the day’s pressing topics: What does Brexit mean for Frankfurt? The current and future relationship between the real economy and banks. What is the state of long-term financing and how will the German economy be affected by Brexit?

Frankfurt Main Finance Celebrates New Membership of Oliver Wyman

Strategy consultancy Oliver Wyman has become a new member of Frankfurt Main Finance. Now, almost 50 members are hard at work in support if the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Through their membership, all representatives underscore their commitment to Frankfurt and commitment to its national and international importance.

“We are delighted to welcome Oliver Wyman GmbH as a sustaining member. For a long time now, Oliver Wyman has proved its commitment to the Financial Centre Frankfurt through its engagement,” explains Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance. For example, the strategy consultants supported the FinTechGermany Awards 2017 as a sponsor. In addition, Matthias Hübner, Partner at Oliver Wyman in Frankfurt, was a juror for the award ceremony.

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 50+ cities across nearly 30 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 4,500 professionals around the world who help clients optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. In addition, Oliver Wyman regularly publishes studies, white papers, etc., and collaborates with leading academics to carry out research projects on future topics.

“In these uncertain times, the preservation and development of a strong financial centre continues to gain in importance for Germany. As one of the leading strategy consultancies in the German market, it is a great honour and important for Oliver Wyman to support Frankfurt Main Finance with our experience and expertise in the financial sector. We are looking forward to a successful cooperation,” says Matthias Hübner, Partner and FinTech expert at Oliver Wyman.

CFS Index

CFS Index reveals contrasting tendencies

Financial institutions limit job cuts and increase earnings growth – Service providers report slower growth in revenues, earnings and investments

The CFS Index, which measures the business climate of the German financial sector on a quarterly basis, falls by just 0.7 points to 113.6 points. The resulting persistently high level is based on contrasting tendencies. The financial institutions report unexpectedly high earnings growth and make fewer job cuts. The service providers, on the other hand, report a significant decline in revenue and earnings growth, though these levels still remain high. The investment volume of both groups remains positive, though it is not able to maintain previous peak levels.

“The stabilized economic development of the financial institutions is particularly expressed by a gradual rise in earnings expectations, coupled with a strong increase in their earnings generated in the first quarter. This is good news, as it can create the right conditions for urgently needed capital growth among the banks and thus improve financial stability,” Professor Jan Pieter Krahnen, Director of the Center for Financial Studies, interprets the results.

Rating of the future international importance of the Financial Centre Germany reaches second-highest level of all time

Having already been rated extremely positively since the Brexit vote, in the second quarter of 2017 the future international importance of the Financial Centre Germany almost reaches its historic high of 136.8 points from last year. The corresponding value rises by 4.0 points to 135 points.

Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. emphasizes: “The survey clearly shows that the growing trend is intact: the financial sector sees an increasing importance of the Financial Centre Frankfurt. This is a satisfying result and the outcome of increased cooperation between all relevant actors in the financial centre.”

Service providers record significant decline in revenue growth, yet maintain a solid, high level

Growth in revenues/business volume in the financial industry declines slightly, but remains at a solid, high level. Among the financial institutions this sub-index rises by just 0.9 points to 113.9 points. The service providers record a significant decline of 4.0 points, yet remain at a very good level of 126.6 points. Both groups anticipate a further decline in growth in the current quarter.

Unexpectedly positive earnings performance among financial institutions – By contrast, service providers report a considerable decline

The surveyed financial institutions are able to significantly boost their earnings following the weak performance in the previous quarters. The corresponding sub-index rises unexpectedly by 8.0 points to 112.5 points. A year ago the sub-index was as low as 97.9 points. The service providers, on the other hand, report a decline in earnings growth of 5.5 points, though the sub-index remains at a high level of 117.9 points. Both groups, particularly the financial institutions, anticipate a decline in the current quarter.

Financial institutions clearly curtail job cuts

The trend since the start of the year among financial institutions to limit job cuts remains intact. The corresponding employee numbers sub-index shows a significant rise of 7.2 points to 97.6 points, though it still remains under the neutral threshold of 100 points. As for the current quarter, the financial institutions expect job cuts to rise slightly again. The service providers, on the other hand, continue to hire employees at almost the same rate. The corresponding sub-index falls by just 0.1 points to 113.6 points. The service providers are more optimistic regarding the current quarter.

Investment volume remains very positive, but cannot maintain previous highs

Despite a decline in growth, the investment volume in product and process innovations among both groups remains at a strong level. The corresponding sub-index for the financial institutions falls by 2.6 points to 113.5 points. The service providers report a more significant decline of 6.1 points to 111.8 points. Both groups anticipate further declines in the current quarter.

About the Center for Financial Studies

The Center for Financial Studies (CFS) conducts independent and internationally-oriented research in important areas of Financial and Monetary Economics, ranging from Monetary Policy and Financial Stability, Household Finance and Retail Banking to Corporate Finance and Financial Markets. CFS is also a contributor to policy debates and policy analyses, building upon relevant findings in its research areas. In providing a platform for research and policy advice, CFS relies on its international network among academics, the financial industry and central banks in Europe and beyond.

About the CFS Index

The CFS Index is compiled from a comprehensive quarterly survey among 400 decision makers in the German financial sector (return about 50% on average). The survey contains four questions about the participant’s view on different business parameters (business volume, earnings, employment level and investment volume in product and process innovations). The answers to the questions may be given as “positive”, “neutral”, or “negative” and a response is requested for the previous and the current quarter. Due to construction, the maximum index value is 150, the minimum index value is 50; a value of 100 signalizes a neutral business sentiment. The survey-panel consists of enterprises and institutions of the financial industry and selected companies that profit from the financial sector.


Why Cybersecurity is a Concern for Financial Regulators

In March 2017, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) held their third conference covering IT supervision for banks. At the conference in Bonn, BaFin President Felix Hufeld told the more than 400 attendees that cyber-risks are one of the most substantial facing the German financial sector. Cybersecurity risks are indeed immense, as banks are susceptible to theft, data breaches and denial of service attacks. In a recent study from KPMG, 38% of responding German companies reported to having been a victim of cyber-crime in the past two years. One in twenty reported losses of more than 1 million euros due to cyber-attacks.

The monetary costs for businesses are obvious. However, for the financial sector the costs can be farther reaching. Since financial institutions, public and private, play a critical economic function, the fallout from a cyberattack on an institution can trickle down into the rest of the economy and society. For this reason, cybersecurity has become a significant concern for financial regulators around the world. At the 2017 Frankfurt Finance Summit, Felix Hufeld will join Dr. Andreas Dombret, Executive Board Member of the Deutsche Bundesbank, for a panel discussion on the challenges of cybersecurity and innovation.

At the March conference on IT security, BaFin introduced new additions that will be made to the Minimum Requirements for Risk Management (MaRisk) concerning IT Security. The German regulator worked in cooperation with Deutsche Bundesbank on the forthcoming guidelines, called Bank Supervision Requirements for IT (BAIT), which are expected for the middle of 2017. BAIT aims to help banks understand the supervisory expectations regarding cybersecurity strategy. The guidelines will place new pressure on management boards to assume responsibility for strategically managing cyber-risks. At an event in 2016, Dr. Andreas Dombret referenced these responsibilities, explaining, “We therefore demand that banks clarify what is at stake and how the risks are supposed to be governed. This is called a cyber strategy, and every bank is required to have a convincing one.”

Not just German regulators are demanding higher cybersecurity standards from the financial sector. The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has outlined new cybersecurity requirements for financial services companies which came into effect in March 2017. Amongst other items, the new regulations establish requirements for formal cybersecurity programs, incident reporting, and data encryption. Additionally, the New York regulators place the ultimate responsibility for cybersecurity with management boards and requires the employment of a Chief Information Security Officer charged with overseeing and implementing the cybersecurity program and enforcing its policies. The USA’s federal regulators are following suit and currently drafting regulations that would place stricter standards on sector-critical firms.

In January 2017, Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, clearly explained that increasing reliance of market infrastructures on digital technologies has made the global financial system even more vulnerable to cyber-risks. Weidmann maintains that “The damage unleashed by successful attacks goes beyond the financial loss incurred. Cyber-attacks can potentially undermine peoples’ trust in the financial system.” This trust is critical to banks and financial services ability to serve their important role in society. Thus, it is understandable that cybersecurity falls within the purview of financial regulators and for them to set clear requirements, just as they would capital requirements, for example. Weidmann concluded by saying, “to avoid jeopardising the positive impact of digital finance, it will be crucial to address these risks and for banks to manage their IT and cyber risks with as much diligence as they do their traditional banking risks.”

These regulatory questions regarding cybersecurity will be addressed at the seventh Frankfurt Finance Summit, titled Europe Reloaded – Challenges for the Financial Sector. Felix Hufeld and Dr. Andreas Dombret will be joined by panel moderator and international economist Cornelia Meyer to discuss the challenges of cybersecurity and innovation.

Long-Term Financing – a stable road towards securing economic growth

At the 2017 Frankfurt Finance Summit, titled Europe Reloaded – Challenges for the Financial Sector, the transformation of long-term financing will be explored in the third panel discussion. Long-term financing is a crucial linkage between the financial and real economy, ensuring growth and stability. Furthermore, long-term financing plays an important role in society, facilitating the funds needed to undertake large infrastructure projects. Providing financing is one of banks’ natural functions. Regulatory requirements following the financial crisis have restricted banks’ ability, and to some extent, willingness to lend. Banks are increasingly unable to meet the rising demand for credit, which has led to non-bank actors becoming providers of long-term capital. However, these are not subject to the same regulations as banks, which creates new risks to financial stability.

Fueling growth and innovation

Long-term financing is a key factor for ensuring sustainable growth in the real economy. As companies expand and invest in new technology, financing is critical. Providing credit to businesses facilitates investment in expansion, new equipment and technology, R&D and personnel. This investment fuels real economic growth and helps European businesses remain competitive in the global arena. Long-term financing also helps banks and businesses look towards the future and increases stability. It allows banks to plan for the long term and to organize their liquidity management, which means they can reduce their vulnerability to short-term changes in capital markets and level out fluctuations in interest rates.

A bridge to the future

Much like a business’s financing requirements for investing in new technology and equipment, governments at every level require long-term financing for large infrastructure projects. Germany’s Ministry of Transport estimates that an investment of 7.2 billion Euros will be needed each year to maintain just the federal republic’s roads, railways and waterways. An expanding digital infrastructure challenges municipalities – in today’s digital economy, subpar connectivity is not an option.

The transition away from fossil fuels and atomic energy towards renewable sources of energy requires an enormous long term investment. In 2016, Germany spent 25 billion Euros on renewable energy. A byproduct of this investment has been the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, besides the obvious sustainable sources of energy to power its cities and industry. A growing economy demands a strong infrastructure, which is one factor that contributes to Germany’s attractiveness as a business location. Long-term investment in these infrastructure projects protects an economy’s future capacity for growth.

Finding the delicate regulatory balance

After the financial crisis, regulations have introduced much needed safeguards in the banking sector, but some argue that the demands of Basel III and Solvency II serve to disincentivize banks from long-term lending activities. Since margins are lower in long-term lending, incentives for carrying this risk on their balances sheets are very low. The European Commission addressed this issue in its 2013 Green Paper, encouraging other financial intermediaries to participate in long-term financing.

However, this is not a perfect scenario because these nontraditional intermediaries are not subject to the same regulations as banks. This creates an unlevel playing field and creates new risks for the economy. It is difficult to evaluate the health of the shadow banking sector. Stabilizing the banking sector through regulation will not augment overall stability if less regulated actors create new risks. The challenge facing regulators, governments and the financial sector is to find a balance that allows the free flow of credit into the economy while protecting tax payers from potential bail out scenarios.

At the 2017 Frankfurt Finance Summit, Jens Tolckmitt, CEO of the Association of German Pfandbrief Banks, will chair the panel The Transformation of Long-Term Financing, exploring how the financial sector, regulators and governments can address these challenges on the horizon. Joining Tolckmitt on the panel will be Wolfgang Kirsch, CEO DZ Bank, Michael Rüdiger, CEO DekaBank, and Roland Boekhout, Chairman of the Management Board, ING-DiBa. More information about the Frankfurt Finance Summit on April 26, 2017 can be found here.

Brexit Negotiations

Frankfurt Main Finance hopeful for constructive Brexit negotiations

With the formal declaration by the United Kingdom’s government to withdraw from the European Union, Brexit has now entered a new and decisive phase. Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. states, “The beginning of the exit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union are imminent. The negotiating parties are entering uncharted territory. Of the utmost importance, will be standing fast to the maxim that maintaining stability in the financial system must take precedence over individual interests. Both parties must strike the delicate balance between averting a cliff-edge scenario while still maintaining the recognizable appeal of membership in the EU.”

Frankfurt Main Finance continues to regret the United Kingdom’s withdraw from the EU and anticipates the loss of rights, including passporting. Managing Director Väth further explains, “The Financial Centre Frankfurt is exceptionally situated to assume a position functioning as a bridge for London into the EU. As the home of the European Central Bank, the Europe’s insurance supervisory mechanism, Europe’s largest stock exchange and the largest internet hub for data traffic, Frankfurt offers best infrastructure for credit institutions and financial services providers active across Europe. Frankfurt’s TechQuartier and dynamic, growing FinTech ecosystem have been distinguished by the Federal Government with the Financial Centre Frankfurt’s appointment as Germany’s Digital Hub for the finance industry. Therefore, we still estimate that around 10,000 jobs will be relocated to Frankfurt in the coming years.”

Contact Person for Media Inquiries:
Dr. Ralf Witzler
Frankfurt Main Finance e.V.
Telephone 069 94 41 80 – 50


Digitalization Presents New Cybersecurity Challenges for Financial Sector

As our economy embraces digitalization and countless connected devices accompany us in our professional and private lives, cybersecurity has become a key challenge, especially for the financial sector. Thus, it is appropriate that a major topic at this year’s Frankfurt Finance Summit, titled Europe Reloaded – Challenges for the Financial Sector, will focus on cybersecurity and innovation. Data breaches and cyberattacks can potentially result in millions in losses and severely damage brands. In February 2016, cyber criminals attempted to steal $951 million from the Bangladesh Bank and succeeded in absconding with $101 million. Beginning in 2015, Kaspersky Labs reported that the Carbanak group had infected computers in more than 100 financial institutions, allowing them to manipulate account balances, transfers and remotely control ATM machines resulting in the theft of up to $1 billion (Kaspersky Labs CEO, Eugene Kaspersky will be delivering a keynote at this year’s Frankfurt Finance Summit). These cyberattacks on organisations and governments are growing rapidly in both complexity and frequency, challenging them to re-evaluate their approach to safeguarding against cybersecurity threats.

Theft of funds are not the only tangible costs of an attack. Data breaches can endanger customer data, trade secrets, industrial equipment and even personnel. Cybersecurity Ventures’ analysts estimate that Cyber Crime cost $3 trillion in 2015 worldwide and expect these costs to rise to $6 trillion by 2021. Considering these massive costs, addressing these threats has become regular discussion in board rooms across the world. The same Cybersecurity Ventures’ analysts report that $120 billion will be spent in 2017 on cybersecurity products and services and expect this spending to exceed $1 trillion cumulatively from 2017 to 2021. Due to increasingly complex attacks and levels of interconnectivity of business processes, just a strong castle wall no longer offers the necessary protection.

Cameron Brown (@AnalyticalCyber), a trusted cyber defense advisor and information security strategist who consults for the risk advisory practice of EY across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He explains that there is a paradigm shift occurring within corporations as “security incidents and data breaches are literally decimating consumer trust, irreparably damaging brands, and causing stocks to plummet overnight.” Companies who recognize this new reality are making massive investments in Security Operations Centres and Threat Intelligence to enhance early detection and proactively identify vulnerabilities. Brown observes that “boards are increasingly receptive to adopting holistic strategies to secure their informational assets. In-house security teams are being equipped with tools to enable greater visibility across the environment and foster more effective collaboration when responding to security incidents globally.” Per Brown, the risks associated with third party providers are recognized as a significant source of vulnerability. He adds that “organizations seeking to maintain their competitive edge in the market are investing in technology to detect and deflect external threats and developing the resiliency of their people to withstand and eradicate threats that have moved inside the enterprise.”

Cybersecurity is especially relevant for FinTech

Considering the tens of millions of transactions, trades, and sensitive data transferred every day, the cybersecurity challenges for the financial sector are immense. At the same time, digitalization is occurring at an unprecedented pace. Reconciling cybersecurity concerns with new, innovative applications and systems can be an especially formidable undertaking. Utilizing third-party applications and services is a common practice and these integrations can introduce potential vulnerabilities into an environment. These concerns are particularly relevant for FinTech companies whose applications are often connected through banks’ APIs. Brown says, “some players are contentiously baking robust security into their solutions, whilst others are falling short of the mark. The development lifecycle is aggressive, expansive, and highly dynamic.” The senior advisor asserts that many products are ill-equipped to withstand targeted and persistent cyberattacks; and maintains that “innovators and entrepreneurs must reprioritise security to avoid short-sighted pitfalls associated with rushing to market without sufficient product testing and evaluation.”

However, some FinTechs are also contributing to improving cybersecurity, like 2016 Golden Garage winner, WebID Solutions, who facilitates secure online-identification. Brown notes that “ongoing and proactive dialogues between entrepreneurs and regulators are critical for cross-pollinating awareness and engendering understanding of the technologies which underpin FinTech solutions and give rise to security vulnerabilities.” The cybersecurity expert explains that this collaboration also informs the development of measured regulatory frameworks which serve to enhance rather than thwart creativity and resourcefulness. “Open channels of communication can also benefit entrepreneurs by assisting them to forestall issues concerning privacy, consumer protection and the impact of trans-border complexities,” explains Brown. He strongly urges that before going to market, FinTech firms perform thorough risk assessments of their data protection needs, with emphasis on confirming where data resides and charting the course through which their data flows, including third-party facilities.

Staff and business units act as the first line of cybersecurity defence

As corporations invest in technology and human capital to mitigate and minimize potential risks, it is important to communicate with employees on how they can make a difference. Cameron Brown explains that a fundamental hurdle many organisations face is raising security awareness among staff and leadership. “The CIO is the lynchpin who must help the organization to navigate the threat landscape and leverage data movement to maximise revenue. To accomplish this task, CIOs need a multifaceted skillset to ingest operational, legal, regulatory and compliance issues which impact both IT and business environments. CIOs must predict threats and champion the implementation of new risk models.” In organisations, large and small, educating staff on potential dangers they may encounter daily could help prevent costly intrusions. Brown adds that cyber security is a whole-of-business issue which mandates a whole-of-business approach. He emphasises that “security awareness and training initiatives for staff, including exercising business continuity plans, are vital components to empower staff and business units, who are the first line of defence.”

At this year’s Frankfurt Finance Summit, the second panel and keynote by Eugene Kaspersky will focus on Cybersecurity and Innovation. Joining Kaspersky on the panel chaired by international economist Cornelia Meyer will be Felix Hufeld, President of BaFin, Andreas Dombret, Deutsche Bundesbank Executive Board Member, and Daniel Domscheit-Berg, author and former WikiLeaks spokesperson.


Frankfurt Stock Exchange Celebrates Equity Day!

Frankfurt Main Finance Member, Deutsche Börse, has announced the third Equity Day to be held on 16 March. Germany’s leading stock exchange operator and the participating banks are hosting this event to raise public awareness of the importance of equities as a retirement-saving instrument. The traditional bell ringing will mark this day’s start of trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Private investors can purchase DAX equities and DAX ETFs free of charge.

Michael Krogmann, member of the Management Board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange said, “We consider it particularly important to impart financial knowledge to the public at large and to educate people about the importance of the stock exchange and thus equities trading as well. Equities turn private individuals into co-owners of companies. This kind of investment enables young enterprises to put new business ideas into practice and secures growth financing for major companies, ultimately also securing jobs. Stocks and shares have been crucial to economic and social progress for centuries – and they can also make a very important contribution to retirement saving.”

The Equity Day will feature fee-free purchases of all DAX equities and nine DAX exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to private investors placing an order volume of €1,000 or more via the Börse Frankfurt trading venue with any of the participating brokers. Deutsche Börse and brokers 1822direkt, Augsburger Aktienbank, comdirect, Consorsbank, DKB Deutsche Kreditbank, ING-DiBa and maxblue are waiving the normal fees.

Deutsche Börse offers all year round free introductory lectures and gallery visits to the Frankfurt trading hall to support everyone understand the role of stock exchange trading. Up to 40,000 visitors from around the world take advantage of this offer each year. Deutsche Börse also offers the Internet portal at, which is specially designed to meet private investor needs. The website offers detailed explanations of share trading for beginners, the stock exchange’s role in a national economy, and how exchange trading works today. Deutsche Börse offers in-depth training via its own Capital Markets Academy. Interested parties can attend basic seminars on the financial market or stock exchange products at the academy.

Finanzplatztag 2017 – building instead of burning bridges

On March 7-8, 2017, WM Gruppe, a member of Frankfurt Main Finance and publisher of Börsen-Zeitung, hosted the tenth Finanzplatztag (Financial Centre Day) at the IHK Frankfurt in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Frankfurt Main Finance was well represented at Finanzplatztag, with members delivering keynotes and participating in discussions throughout the event. Among the member organizations represented were Deutsche Börse, Helaba, the State of Hessen, and, of course, WM Gruppe.

Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, moderated the panel Building Instead of Burning Bridges – the new landscape for EU financial centres which featured Arnaud de Bresson, CEO of Paris Europlace, Mark Hoban, Chairman of the International Regulatory Strategy Group, Pat Lardner, CEO of the Irish Fund Association, and Tom Theobald, Deputy CEO of Luxembourg for Finance. The representative of Europe’s leading financial centres explored what changes could be expected as financial services leave London in the wake of Brexit. While differing on some smaller points, the panelists were able to agree on the importance of maintaining stability in Europe. A significant contributor to this stability, of course, will be London maintaining its role as an important, global financial centre. The Eurozone’s financial centres will need to maintain a strong network to remain competitive with other global centres like Singapore and New York City. Building a bridge from the Eurozone to London will play a critical role for minimizing the effects of Brexit and preserving stability.

Dr. Gertrud R. Traud, Chief Economist with Helaba, spoke about structural change and Frankfurt’s position to profit from Brexit, giving an overview Frankfurt’s position as a financial centre compared to its main competitors.  Traud explained why Frankfurt’s special character sets it in the top position on the continent and introduced the findings of the recent Financial Centre Focus. The Helaba study, Brexit – Let’s go Frankfurt, shows that Frankfurt ranks in the top position on several factors, including a world-class infrastructure, high quality of life and the stability and strength of the German economy.

Following a keynote address from Deutsche Börse CEO Carsten Kengeter, Claus Döring, Editor-in-Chief at Börsen-Zeitung, took the stage to lead the podium discussion, Consequences of Brexit for the Financial Centre Frankfurt. The discussion featured Hubertus Väth, Hauke Stars, Deutsche Börse Executive Board Member, and Michael Reuther, Commerzbank Executive Board Member. Väth opened the discussion, explaining he still stands with his estimate that around 10,000 jobs will be moved to Frankfurt from London over the next five years. Given Frankfurt’s numerous locational advantages, Väth reported that there has been extensive interest from financial services and banks and that he expects to announcements to be made later in the month. While he was not in the position to provide names, he stated that, “3 of the 5 largest American banks have made decided to move to the Financial Centre Frankfurt.” Väth reiterated that Frankfurt remains “in the pole position” and remains the best alternative for banks leaving the United Kingdom. Per Väth, announcements and resettlements will happen in three waves, beginning with large investment banks, followed by commercial banks and asset managers.

Frankfurt Main Finance Executive Committee Member, Hauke Stars, expounded on Väth’s comments, noting Frankfurt’s deep talent pool and role as a regulatory hub amongst its many attractive factors. Stars explained that Frankfurt is not just an attractive location for large financial services firms, but also for small FinTech start-ups. Deutsche Börse has been an active supporter of the Frankfurt FinTech ecosystem, especially with their FinTech Hub. To this Stars hinted at expanded activities to continue advancing this important segment which will be announced in the coming weeks.

The first day of the event closed with an address from Tarek Al-Wazir, the Hessian Minister for Economics, Energy, Transport, Urban and Regional Development and Frankfurt Main Finance Executive Committee Member. Al-Wazir reflected on the events of 2016 and the ten years since the first Finanzplatztag. Stating that Brexit was very unfortunate and undesired, Al-Wazir explained that we must do what is best for the Financial Centre and the goal is keep a hand extended to the United Kingdom, and reemphasized that we must build bridges rather than tear them down. Like many of the speakers, Al-Wazir concluded the day with a message that conveyed the importance of Frankfurt and Europe’s openness in contributing to the global economy. Indeed, building bridges with the entire world, and not just the UK, no doubt reflects the character of the Financial Centre Frankfurt and this message will certainly be on everyone’s minds throughout 2017 and until the next Finanzplatztag in 2018.