Brexit brings up to 88 thousand new jobs in the Rhine-Main region

WHU study quantifies the Brexit impact on the employment market

New jobs in the banking sector – that’s the expected result of impending relocations from London to Frankfurt. As early as June 24th, 2016, one day after the referendum, Frankfurt Main Finance estimated the potential repercussion of a Brexit decision to be up to 10 thousand new jobs for Frankfurt within the financial sector and its directly related services. Today, some people already regard this figure as too conservative. A job motor can also be expected in other fields, according to the findings of a study by WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management carried out on behalf of Frankfurt Main Finance. “It will be the multiplier effects on many areas of day-to-day life that will lead to a significant growth in employment above all in the Rhine-Main region,” explains Professor Lutz Johanning, who conducted the study together with Moritz C. Noll from the Chair of Empirical Capital Market Research. In this interview, both academics give us a deeper insight into the underlying calculations.

Prof. Johanning, what exactly is analysed in your study?

Lutz Johanning: We looked at the effects of the relocation of banking jobs in the wake of the Brexit decision on the employment market as a whole – for the City of Frankfurt, the towns and cities in its direct vicinity, and the Rhine-Main region. In the analysis, our focus was on the multiplier effects, i.e. what growth will result for other sectors and industries from an addition to the number of banking jobs. And the study shows that this effect is 2.1 to 8.8 times higher, depending on the area under consideration. Therefore, in the most optimistic case, if we assume ten thousand new bank jobs, up to 88 thousand new jobs can be created during the following four years in the Rhine-Main region.

Prof. Lutz Johanning: “The relocation of jobs doesn’t occur in isolation. People move their lives into a new city – with everything that involves.”

That’s a huge figure. How do you arrive at that result?

Moritz Noll: We extrapolated the existing statistical data on the employment market in Frankfurt and the region into the future with the help of an empirical model, taking the effects of the Brexit into account. To ascertain and arrive at meaningful figures for the purposes of further planning, we placed a high priority on two factors. Firstly, a valid data basis has been very important for us. Our study is therefore based on employment market data from the German Federal Employment Agency (BA) covering the past nine years. Secondly, we looked for statistical models that have already been effectively applied in the scientific community.

Moritz C. Noll: “Even though the Brexit is a unique occurrence, scientifically based models still exist that enable the repercussions for the employment market to be reliably assessed.”

Where did you find an appropriate solution? After all, the Brexit is an unprecedented event.

Noll: The Brexit is indeed unprecedented, but not the fact that jobs are moved to a new location as the result of changed basic conditions. There are, for instance, well-founded scientific analyses for the energy sector in the USA – bear in mind the topic of fracking. The resettlement of jobs to new locations is quite common in this context. The resulting repercussions, not only for the primary sector affected, but also in terms of the overall impact on a region have been frequently examined during the last few years. These models allow specific assumptions to be derived on which we have based our study.

Johanning: The indirect effects can be quantified with this approach. If a job at Bank X is moved from London to Frankfurt, this is not an isolated process. Rather, the person who occupies this position relocates his life into a new city – with everything that involves. He or she usually comes with a family, which means that all the corresponding needs have to be met. This begins with quite simple issues such as residential needs, schooling, training, and the requirements of daily consumption. But it also has wider structural implications – the keywords here are infrastructure, the educational system, the market for houses and flats.

Prof. Lutz Johanning: “The Rhine-Main region in particular will profit from the growth in jobs. Most of the additional jobs outside of the financial industry are more likely to occur in the areas around Frankfurt.”

Why are you so sure that the affected bankers will be transferring their primary place of residence to Frankfurt? After all, London isn’t all that far away.

Johanning: The same discussion took place a number of years ago in connection with the European Central Bank employees. The question then was also whether people will actually be moving to the Rhine-Main region or whether they will just be here to work. Experience shows that they come here to work and to live. That’s why this particular context has provided a best-practice example for many years, and this has served as an orientation for us in the study.

You have differentiated in your analysis – between Frankfurt, its immediate environs, and the region. What does this distinction reveal?

Johanning: Frankfurt will profit directly from the new jobs in the banking sector. That’s not a regional issue. The central office sites will be found in the city centre. Consequently, the effect here on other parts of the economy is also modest, around 2.1- to 3.4-fold. Bank-related services will also benefit during the course of development; but these services are often not located directly in the city, but in the immediate surroundings like Eschborn, Offenbach or other neighbouring cities. In addition, many people are looking for somewhere to live somewhat outside of Frankfurt. That, in turn, will benefit the neighbouring municipalities as well as the entire region. The larger the radius drawn, the more differentiated the effects and the greater the multiplier effect. Optimistically speaking, ten thousand new bank jobs in the city can generate up to 88 thousand new jobs in the Rhine-Main region.

The study mentions two models. What does that mean exactly?

Noll: We’ve made use of two models to assess the impact of the ten thousand new jobs in the financial sector on all the other industries. Model 1 takes a factor into account that dampens the growth effect to a greater degree. Model 2, on the other hand, does not include this factor, and the growth is estimated to be higher overall as a result. It was important for us to present the entire spectrum of possible results in the study.

You know the statistics in detail. In which industry will the effects have the greatest impact?

Johanning: It should be said to start with that Frankfurt is a region with a very high growth rate – even without the Brexit. The highest growth rates over the past few years have been recorded in the sectors of logistics, real estate and business services. These growth industries will be given an additional push through the Brexit effect. What cannot be deduced from our quantitative model, however, is which structural changes within the individual industries will lead to greater or less growth over the next few years.

Noll: In a further step, we examined with the help of our models how the long-term job growth rates differ with and without the Brexit. As a result, we were able to show that the long-term growth path is changed by an initial shock, i.e. the relatively sudden event of additional jobs flowing into the financial industry caused by the Brexit. This means that job expansion throughout the employment market as a whole can be significantly higher in the long term in the Brexit case than in a case without additional Brexit jobs. One can therefore see that the growth effects on the employment market can be markedly higher than the initial effect might lead us to expect. So there’s still room for growth and untapped potential.

Moritz C. Noll: “If we also take the long-term effects into account, even better figures are possible.”

So the upshot is even more growth for an already prospering region. Have you also been able to quantify in the study how local government tax revenues will change as a result?

Johanning: We’ve attempted to estimate this effect as well with the aid of a simple projection, at least for the Frankfurt city area. However, these results should be considered with caution since they are based on the previous results from the employment market forecasts, which inevitably results in additional inaccuracies. We looked at the local government share of the income tax, the value-added tax and the local business tax. In summary, we estimate that the City of Frankfurt will be able to earn between EUR 136.2 and EUR 191.9 million in revenue every year through the three above-mentioned tax forms as a result of the additionally created jobs.

Thank you for the interview.

Winning Frankfurt: Brexit Bankers’ Welfare Effect Beyond Bringing Their Jobs

Picture credits: fritzphilipp photography 

Brexit bankers bring more welfare effects to Financial Centre Frankfurt and the region than just their jobs

New jobs in the banking sector – this is the expected result of relocations from London to Frankfurt. Well-founded estimates speak of ten thousand additional jobs within the next four years. The overall increase in job growth associated with Brexit is significantly higher because multiplier effects cause growth in other industries as well, according to the findings of an academic study conducted by WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management on behalf of Frankfurt Main Finance.

“We investigated the effects of the relocation of banking jobs as a result of Brexit on the entire labour market for the city of Frankfurt, the neighbouring cities and the Rhine-Main area,” says Prof. Dr. Lutz Johanning, one author of the study. “Our study shows that the multiplier effect is between 2.1 and 8.8, depending on the area examined. If we consider adding 10,000 new jobs in the banking industry over the next four years, then, according to our prudent estimate, an additional 21,000 jobs could be created in Frankfurt City. In the optimistic case, this could result in up to an additional 88,000 new jobs in the Rhine-Main region.”

Moritz C. Noll, co-author of the study, says, “With our models, we demonstrate that the long-term growth trajectory is changed by an initial shock, in other words, the additional jobs in the finance sector due to Brexit. Thus, we argue that the growth effects on the labour market can be significantly higher than the initial effects suggest. There’s still room for further gains.”

Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, says, “The job growth will further advance the economic strength of Frankfurt and the region. A real success story for all parties involved. Now, it is important to absorb and shape this growth positively. That is a challenge. However, the additional jobs also bring the funds to invest and master the challenge.”

Based on the assumption that 10,000 financial sector jobs will relocate to Frankfurt due to Brexit, this also results in additional tax revenues for the city of Frankfurt. In the conservative scenario, the net gain from income, value-added and local business taxes is around 136 million euros per year, while the optimistic scenario would yield nearly 192 million euros.

Winning Frankfurt: Brexit Bankers’ Welfare Effect Beyond Bringing Their Jobs

Is the EBA coming to Frankfurt?

In the wake of the Brexit vote, the European Banking Authority has to relocate.

The Brexit has been talked about for a long time – now things are starting to move. More and more banks are deciding to transfer their activities from London to Frankfurt. Deutsche Bank and Citigroup are two prominent examples. But major institutions like the European Banking Authority (EBA) are also on the verge of choosing a new location. After all, the EU’s banking regulator has to be based in a member state of the EU.

The application process surrounding the EBA is long underway and it’s also clear since the end of July exactly who has thrown their hat into the ring: eight cities – Frankfurt and Paris, along with Brussels, Dublin, Prague, Luxembourg, Vienna and Warsaw – all want to offer the authority a new home. The reason is simple: the presence of such a significant institution enhances the standing and prestige of the host location enormously.

Eight candidates in the running

Accordingly, the eight candidates are busily committed in their efforts to broadcast their merits with lots of facts about their respective locations, for instance on infrastructure, transport links, working conditions and schools. But to some extent they’re also making concrete promises. Luxembourg and Vienna, for example, are offering rent-free office space.

Frankfurt wants to make a persuasive case with hard facts, and Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of the State of Hesse, is not alone in his conviction: “Despite our many competitors, we have a good hand.” The government has put together a comprehensive dossier to explain why that’s true. It highlights all the aspects that are important when choosing a location. However, since many of the features that make up the special setting and ambience in and around the Main metropolis are difficult to convey on paper, Frankfurt is also presenting itself with a film that shows what it means to be at home in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt can score in every respect

It’s the combination of the many different elements that’s decisive, Prime Minister Bouffier is also certain. As he points out, Frankfurt can boast a very good infrastructure and a large number of international banks and insurance companies and is thus the most important financial centre in continental Europe. The existing supervisory structure, including the European Central Bank (ECB), the Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), the Deutsche Bundesbank, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), completes this unique network of relevant players at one place.

That the settlement of the EBA would be a logical next step and would also create synergies is beyond question for Bouffier. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble also stresses that it’s now important to ensure planning security at an early stage in view of all the risks and uncertainties the European Union will be faced with as part of the Brexit: “This also applies to the question of the future headquarters of the EBA. I am firmly convinced that a key combination of factors make Frankfurt am Main the best option.”

Attractive offer for companies and institutions

Frankfurt’s application has been intensively prepared by numerous experts. One of them is Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt, Managing Director of Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH (HTAI). His familiarity with Frankfurt and the region is second to none, and he knows from many discussions with companies and political decision-makers in London what the burning questions are that arise during any relocation.

Not the loud beating of one’s own drum, but substantial, fact-based persuasion is the best way to support the decision-making process in his experience. “Many companies are looking for a safe haven in the EU following the Brexit decision. We want to make them an attractive offer. We can effectively provide them with a unique network of all the relevant actors,” says Waldschmidt.

Together with many other representatives from the city and state, he is promoting Hesse as an outstanding location in the EU – not least for one of the central authorities like the EBA.
Since August 1st, all applications for future EBA locations have been published on the European Council website. The German government’s application for the Federal Republic of Germany and the location of Frankfurt am Main can be viewed on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

You can read more about this topic here:

 

Frankfurt Main Finance supports Federal Ministry of Finance’s Bid to host EBA in Frankfurt

Today, the German Federal Ministry of Finance submitted their bid to host the European Banking Authority (EBA) in the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Currently located in London, EBA must find a new home as a result of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. Applications to host the agency were due to the European Commission on 31 July 2017. The final decision is expected in November 2017.

Frankfurt Main Finance supports the Federal Ministry of Finance’s bid to host EBA in the Financial Centre Frankfurt. “We commend the Ministry on submitting a strong application. Frankfurt is home to three of the five pillars of an integrated European financial supervisory system. To relocate EBA to Frankfurt would be the logical next step and in line with an earlier recommendation by MEPs,” explains Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance. In addition to hosting the European Central Bank (ECB), European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), Frankfurt is also home the Deutsche Bundesbank, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and Federal Agency for Financial Market Stabilisation (FSMA).

The Financial Centre Frankfurt is in the pole position to win banking business from London following the results of the UK’s referendum. Several banks have announced their intentions to establish or expand operations in Frankfurt as a result of Brexit, including Silicon Valley Bank, Standard Chartered, Daiwa, Nomura, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mizuho, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. “The banks have voted with their feet for Frankfurt, now it’s on Europe to vote for financial stability and for Frankfurt,” explains Väth. Frankfurt Main Finance expects at least 12 and possibly as many as 20 banks to announce their decision for a location in Frankfurt in 2017.

Noted for its strong economic and political stability, Frankfurt and the region offer a top infrastructure, competitively priced and plentiful modern office space, a deep talent pool and an extremely high quality of life. Financial services moving to Frankfurt will find a competent, helpful and welcoming regulator in BaFin, who will accept large portions of applications in English. The Financial Centre is already home to more than 150 foreign banks and 75,000 people employed in financial services.

Frankfurt becomes destination for international job seekers – HR consultants signal a clear spike in interest

Brexit is gaining momentum. Coinciding with the first official announcements from financial institutions moving business units from the Thames to the Main, movement is being observed in the labor market. “We are currently experiencing an unprecedented onslaught of unsolicited applications from London for the offices in Frankfurt,” said Christopher Schmitz, Partner, EY EMEIA Financial Services. “This is true for both internal applications from consultants from within the company, but also for external applicants, especially by people of Indian origin. The interest in Frankfurt is great.”

Dr. Rolf E. Stokburger, Managing Partner at Boyden, a global HR consultancy specializing in management, made a similar observation, “Senior bankers are among the more proactive applicants. They are eager to be part of the success story in Frankfurt and leverage the opportunities of early entry.”

Thomas Deininger, Managing Director of Deininger Consulting, a global consultancy headquartered in Frankfurt with offices in London, Dehli, Mumbai and Pune, amongst others, says, “London’s banks are behaving increasingly hesitant. Our contracts there have reduced dramatically and recruiting has declined by 30 to 50 percent. On the other hand, we have increased interest in Frankfurt. The number of unsolicited CVs has certainly increased by 20 percent. There are a lot of actors in the financial sector currently taking part in exploratory talks with us.”

“We are currently experiencing the early phases of an evolving, radical shift in Frankfurt’s labor market,” says Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance. “Banks are now discussing with their teams how they implement relocations to Frankfurt,” Väth continued. “These decisions will be made well in advance and require months of preparations. This affects not only the employees, but also their families.”

The great interest in the Financial Centre Frankfurt from India is remarkable, but not surprising. According to data from the City of Frankfurt, the Indian community in the Rhine-Main region is by far the largest in Germany and the Orbis database shows more than 130 Indian companies in the region in 2017. It is the preferred investment destination for India within the Schengen zone. And not least, more than 40 Indian IT companies, 9 of the top 20 Indian IT companies, are based here.

“In our offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, interest in working in Frankfurt is also increasing,” says Thomas Deininger. “The 2016 Global Innovation Index sees Frankfurt as a leading German innovation cluster at number 12 in the world, ahead of London (21) and Berlin (30). Frankfurt is a particularly attractive location for innovative companies,” adds Hubertus Väth.

Do you have any questions?

In the wake of the Brexit decision, a number of banks will be relocating. This raises a lot of questions – political ones as well as quite practical ones.

The search for an alternative location to London is currently occupying the thoughts of globally operating banks. Some have already opted for Frankfurt and are currently moving here. Others are still weighing up the pros and cons of the alternatives in the European Union (EU). Frankfurt has a number of advantages in such comparisons.

As an international financial centre, Frankfurt has a lot to offer. The residence of the European Central Bank alone lends the location a special allure. But there are more solid arguments. That’s why – not only since the ultimate Brexit resolution – the city and state governments, politicians and interest groups have been working hard to provide decision-makers in the banking world with tangible arguments and sound Information.

Core issue labour law

One of the core issues that comes up again and again in dialogues is the protection against dismissal in German labour law. This requires that alternative employment must be sounded out. If a trader loses money for his employer, the employer will not want to have to employ him elsewhere. This is because the game runs differently on the trading floors. The dealers have less security, but are paid far better. Around 80 percent of the income millionaires from EU banks are based in London. Most of them are employed in dealing. Such a deal turns out to be good for both parties: if an employer wants to dismiss an employee, he or she receives an easily calculated compensation.

The importance of this aspect is also well-known in the political community. The Hessian Finance Minister Dr. Thomas Schäfer has already taken up the topic: “Nothing has changed as far as our objective is concerned of easing protection against dismissal for employees with very high income in credit and financial service companies,” he stressed once again in recent days. He knows that he has the support of the majority of people when he says that a high-paid trader is less worthy of protection than a normal bank employee. And this hits home with the decision-makers in the major banks.

However, the Finance Minister is convinced that the solution cannot merely be derived from the income: “It has become clear that a solution in labour law tailored to the specific credit and financing companies finds much greater support.” What he means is to exclude a precisely defined group of risk carriers from the protection against dismissal – and therefore to remove the basis of one of the main criticisms of the Frankfurt location. The Hessian state government considers such a statutory amendment to be feasible and expects a bill to be introduced after the German federal elections in autumn 2018.

Dr. Thomas Schäfer, Hessian Finance Minister: “We want to ease the protection against dismissal rights for the group of risk carriers in credit and financial service companies.”

Go Frankfurt Tax

There are also questions in the UK as regards German tax law that require elucidation. A major hurdle is not only the interpretation of the law, but also the German language. In order to help all those who want to come to Frankfurt as Brexit immigrants, the Hessian Ministry of Finance has set up an English-language homepage and a hotline. This is an offer to answer the very practical questions that arise when employees and their families move to another country, to a new city where a foreign language is spoken. The Finance State Secretary Bernadette Weyland has activated the service in mid-June: “Call us, write an e-mail or visit us online. We are happy to help you in English.”

Dr. Bernadette Weyland, Hessian Finance State Secretary: “Citizen Service has a long tradition with us. We now offer this service in English as well.”

Frankfurt is being heard

From major political decisions to small-scale assistance in day-to-day issues – there’s a lot of movement going on at the moment to make Frankfurt an attractive, and also likeable, location for the employees of banks from all over the world. To do the right thing is the indispensable prerequisite in such a competition among locations. To talk about it is the essential groundwork. This is also the maxim of Hubertus Väth, who, as Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, has conducted over 600 discussions with journalists from all over the world since the Brexit decision: “We have achieved that the world is talking about Frankfurt. We are in the pole position as regards major banks relocating their headquarters after the Brexit and can already record numerous successes.” That’s why he is not only meeting with representatives of large and prestigious media companies, but also with the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, the New Zealand channel Newstalk ZB and the Russian online platform Vestnik Kavkaza. In this way, the message of Frankfurt Main Finance can be transported into the farthest corners of the world. The fact that he is being heard is shown by the great media echo: since the Brexit decision, there have been reports in more than 200 media from 31 countries in 525 articles, which corresponds to a coverage reaching over 2.6 billion Readers.

Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance: “We are in the pole position as regards major banks relocating their headquarters after the Brexit.”

Picture credits: bilder-bibliothek.blogspot.de / Skyline – Frankfurt am Main, HMdF / Sabrina Feige

Mizuho is fourth Japanese bank to confirm move to Frankfurt

The Japanese investment bank Mizuho Securities Co. Ltd., a core group company of Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., announced today that it has begun procedures to apply for a license to further expand its presence in the Financial Centre Frankfurt. In addition to Daiwa, Nomura, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, a fourth major Japanese bank has now decided to establish a hub in Frankfurt am Main.

“Frankfurt e yokoso, welcome to Frankfurt Mizuho! We see Mizuho’s decision as another show of trust in the Financial Centre Frankfurt, for which we are most grateful,” says Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance. “Overall, Frankfurt’s many advantages create a convincing package. Now, four of the five leading Japanese banks and securities corporations have chosen Frankfurt for their European hubs after an extensive and thorough due diligence process. We look forward to supporting them in establishing their operations in any way possible.”

Väth futher explains that “the banks’ decisions to move their business from the Themes to the Main over the past few weeks, strengthen Frankfurt’s position as a significant financial centre, not only in Europe, but globally as well.” Frankfurt Main Finance expects at least twelve banks to announce their decision to relocate to the Financial Centre Frankfurt this year. “We are one step closer to our ambitious objective of having twenty banks placing their trust in the Financial Centre Frankfurt this year. The past weeks should alleviate any doubts concerning Frankfurt’s attractiveness to the world’s major investment banks,” says Väth.

The Financial Centre Frankfurt is in the pole position to win banking business from London following the results of the UK’s referendum. Noted for its strong economic and political stability, Frankfurt and the region offer a top infrastructure, competitively priced and plentiful modern office space, a deep talent pool and an extremely high quality of life. Financial services moving to Frankfurt will find a competent, helpful and welcoming regulator in BaFin, who will accept large portions of applications in English. The Financial Centre is already home to more than 150 foreign banks and 75,000 people employed in financial services.

The press release of Mizuho Financial Group.

 

Euro Clearing

Joint Declaration of Frankfurt Main Finance and Paris EUROPLACE on Euro Clearing

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union and will in all likelihood lose access to the common market. In light of this, Frankfurt Main Finance and Paris EUROPLACE jointly request the concerned European authorities to consider some fundamental principles regarding future oversight of Euro Clearing:

  1. Central counterparties are key to managing risk for investors. These robust structures are essential drivers of trust in the financial ecosystem.
  2. As a concentrator of risk, CCPs are systemic. In times of crisis, a diverse ecosystem of CCPs plus a clear, manageable resolution process are key prerequisites to preserving stability.
  3. In the case of resolution, the EU Supervisors and the resolution authority must be able to expeditiously reach the appropriate decisions necessary to fully protect European financial security, including its monetary policy constraints in a way that shields European tax payers from potential losses.
  4. In that context, day to day risk monitoring is crucial. It necessitates easy access to information by European supervisors, as well as efficient conditions for access to central bank liquidity based on a one-step decision making process.
  5. The legal framework in which the CCP operates must be EMIR equivalent and the CCP should fall under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

Frankfurt Main Finance and Paris EUROPLACE urge the responsible European authorities to clarify their position without delay and by doing so, bolster certainty in this systemically relevant pillar of the European financial system.

Download the Press Release

One year after the UK referendum – a Brexit balance

The surprise came overnight, and there was a rude awakening. At 2 A.M., when the first forecasts were published, it still looked like Britain would remain in the European Union. But a next look at the news reports at 6:20 A.M. made it clear: the population of the UK decided to leave, even if the majority was only 52:48. A year has passed since TV cameras from all over the world stood in front of the ECB and journalists wanted to know what was now going to happen and what Frankfurt thinks about it all. London, Brussels and Berlin immersed themselves in consultations. Nigel Farage, the head of the UKIP party that had made Brexit its goal, stepped down. Shortly after, the British Prime Minister David Cameron followed suit.

Our message: Brexit is bad for the UK, it is bad for Europe, and it is bad for Germany. Frankfurt Main Finance (FMF), the voice of Germany’s financial centre, hoped for a different outcome to the referendum, but was also prepared for the results. When these came in, that was the moment to flick the switch. The campaign to promote and advertise our location on the River Main was ready and waiting: as soon as the official referendum result was announced, an information website about Frankfurt went online, a telephone hotline for questions about Brexit was activated, a statement was published on the FMF website, and a campaign started at the same time on Twitter and LinkedIn to spread the word about the merits and advantages of the Financial Centre Frankfurt. The message was clear and relevant: “Welcome to Frankfurt”.

 

Once-in-a-century chance for Frankfurt

On June 24th, interview requests came in from all over the world. The media struggled to understand what had happened and how it would be changing the world we live in. FMF gave interviews in 15-minute intervals: on the phone, in the microphone, on camera, and yet again on the phone… The Brexit vote dominated the news all around the globe. Being in a position to talk while others were still treading their way through channels of coordination and approval gave Frankfurt a key advantage right from the start.

Despite the obvious negative repercussions, Brexit brought the opportunity of a century for the city of Frankfurt and the region. The financial architecture of the European Union was, and up to now, is focused on London. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU – and that was clear straight away – would lead to a relocation of responsibilities and business in the direction of the EU, resulting in a more multipolar financial world. London will undoubtedly remain a major financial centre, but financial centres in the EU will gain enhanced influence – Frankfurt above all. We at Frankfurt Main Finance have never tired of pointing out that it’s not a question of weakening London as a financial centre through our efforts; rather, it’s primarily about installing a stable financial sector within the EU, about building a bridge between London and the EU that starts in Frankfurt.

EBA and Euro clearing are in focus

On day one after the referendum, FMF ventured to make the well-founded estimate of 10,000 jobs that Frankfurt could gain within five years as a result of Brexit – with two essential preconditions: the European Banking Authority (EBA) moves to Frankfurt, as does the lucrative euro clearing market. While the seat of the EBA quickly became a general topic of discussion, it took months before the exceptional importance of euro clearing became clear to the wider public – a rather unwieldy topic at first glance.

The processing of derivative transactions via central guarantee entities, so-called Central Counterparties, and their supervision by the regulator is one of the main ramifications of the financial crisis. When the financial world plunged into crisis, there was in part complete uncertainty as to where the risks were, i.e. who held the actual risks festering in their books at the time. This insecurity led to fear, and the resulting loss in confidence threatened a collapse of the entire system.

Euro clearing: Frankfurt is currently the only real alternative to London

The decision as to where euro clearing operations should be carried out has been recognised as one of the key decisions for shaping the future financial architecture of the EU and Europe, and the issue has been discussed in this vein. And once again, Frankfurt is justifiably confident that it can win the day as the location of choice. Today, in addition to London, only Frankfurt – with the EUREX Clearing subsidiary of Deutsche Börse AG – has a valid licence within the EU and possesses the technical prerequisites, tried and tested in daily operation, to take over euro clearing operations from the City of London. Currently, Frankfurt is already the market leader in the clearing of exchange-traded derivatives. On the other hand, London leads by far in the clearing of euro-denominated OTC derivatives.

This lucrative business will not be able to remain in London as it has. That’s something we stressed at the time and have stressed ever since. After all, the European Central Bank, directly after its founding, wanted the supervisory of such a critical key function for the stability of European financial markets and the euro in its sphere of influence and control. Already now, there are first signs of business moving to Frankfurt, and companies are increasingly testing the clearing opportunities in the Financial Centre Frankfurt.

More uncertainty in the wake of the UK elections

A lot has happened since June 23rd last year. To mention just a few milestones: the British Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, resigned. He was succeeded by Theresa May. She, who for all intents and purposes counted among those in the remain camp, surprised everyone in her first policy address, with the wording used ever since to illustrate the British posture towards future negotiations with Brussels: “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

The so-called cliff-edge Brexit – the running out of the negotiations on withdrawal scheduled for two years without an agreement being reached – came into view and became the most probable outcome. On March 29th, 2017, the United Kingdom formally requested withdrawal pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. As a result, Theresa May set the countdown in motion for the two-year negotiation period. A few weeks later, she again shocked the world by calling new elections to the House of Commons for early June. The professed goal was to receive a strong mandate for negotiations with Brussels. The calculation didn’t pay off. May and her party are now weakened, with incalculable repercussions for the Brexit process, for financial market participants, and for financial centres.

Frankfurt and Germany offer stability

If, from a European point of view, the result of the UK parliamentary election is interpreted as “a glass half-full”, then a lot of things come into the range of possibility again: even a new referendum with an open end. And even the UK remaining in the EU is no longer completely out of the question, albeit hardly likely.

If we interpret the “glass as half empty”, we are then dealing with a weak government that is only capable of making a few compromises in the upcoming negotiations because it lacks a broad mandate and a robust majority in the UK Parliament. A breakdown of negotiations and even a new election within the two-year period are conceivable. The negotiation programme, which is already ambitious to say the least, seems simply impossible to complete. Extensions, interim solutions and deadlines will probably be the result.

One thing remains certain: the decisions made by companies and by the financial and the real economy, on both sides of the Channel, must now be made under an even greater cloud of uncertainty. This speaks for Frankfurt, and it underlines the strength of Germany and Frankfurt as a refuge of stability and predictability.

Frankfurt exploits its pole position

In a host of banks and across the financial sector, Frankfurt is frequently discussed as a potential candidate for the relocation of companies or divisions. Above all, the Financial Centre Frankfurt boasts a stable economy and stable pro-European political conditions, with an excellent infrastructure, a large number of well-trained workers – especially from the financial sector –, a relatively cheap rental index and cost of living, and a high quality of life.

Metaphorically speaking, all this has brought Frankfurt onto the pole position in the race for the chances in the wake of Brexit. And the Hessian metropolis has been doing full justice to its prominent role up to now. This is shown by the successes achieved so far. Already, a Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean and Swiss bank have decided in favour of Frankfurt as their main location in the EU. Goldman Sachs is planning to double its workforce in Frankfurt and Standard Chartered has recently announced its intention of expanding its office in Frankfurt due to Brexit. Around 20 banks are currently in the later stages of talks about either locating or expanding their operations in Frankfurt.

The metaphor of a race also makes another thing clear: the clear winner is uncertain until the finish line is crossed. Frankfurt must continue to promote its merits and advantages and continue to address its weaknesses, rising to the occasion to capitalize on the once-in-a-century chance before it. Ultimately, a number of financial centres will certainly profit from Brexit, but the Financial Centre Frankfurt has every opportunity to become the financial metropolis of the European Union.

Japanese investment bank Nomura opts for new location in Financial Centre Frankfurt

Another Japanese bank has applied for a banking license in Germany and chosen to base the new business unit in the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Frankfurt Main Finance (FMF) is delighted that with Nomura another Japanese bank has officially decided to come to Frankfurt. “The Japanese banks were precisely the ones, who warned early on about the consequences of Brexit, and now are among the first to decide,” says Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of the Financial Centre initiative Frankfurt Main Finance.

“We would like to thank Nomura for their trust in the Financial Centre Frankfurt and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues. Nomura is already a member of Frankfurt Main Finance. We expect their announcement to act as a signal, and that further decisions by other prominent institutes will follow in the coming weeks.”

Just a few days ago, the Japanese Daiwa Securities Group announced their decision for the Financial Centre Frankfurt.

Press Release from Nomura Bank.