Financial Centre Study: Frankfurt is a magnet for foreign banks

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

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

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

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

The complete Helaba Financial Center Survey 2011