Frankfurt has taken the lead amongst the financial centres in continental Europe. In their 10-year anniversary study, Financial Centre of Frankfurt – Making Further Headway, Helaba economists found Frankfurt to be ahead of other European financial centres. Frankfurt especially leads in terms of institutions like the European Central Bank, outstanding IT-infrastructure, comparably low rent and cost of living and the excellent transportation network.
The Financial Centre Frankfurt scored particularly well in two core areas. First, the city has made substantial progress in terms of financial research and teaching, even gaining in international stature. The combination of Frankfurt’s Goethe University and Frankfurt School of Finance & Management offers a top-quality range of teaching and research opportunities. Next, concerning trends in the financial sector, digitalisation is the dominating theme. Technological change in the finance industry is being primarily by FinTechs and large internet corporations. Efforts in the continued expansion of Frankfurt and the surrounding region as a German and European FinTech hub have not gone unnoticed. Helaba’s Chief Economist and Head of Research, Dr. Gertrud Traud explains, “For Frankfurt to maintain and develop its position, expanding the city’s status as the German and Continental European fintech hub as well as further strengthening its intellectual infrastructure in respect of a financial centre’s capacity for innovation will be of crucial importance.” One significant achievement in this area will be the forthcoming FinTech hub, slated to open in September 2016.
In their current assessment of the financial centres of Frankfurt, Paris and London, Helaba’s economists applied five core criteria, which they consider indispensable for an international financial centre to position itself successfully in the long term. These are: banks, stock exchanges, finance-related teaching and research, trends in the financial sector as well as location-specific qualities.