What Brexit exodus? Frankfurt’s struggles exposed in new report as City set to thrive

Brexit: David Frost on chances of financial services agreement

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And Leigh Evans, Vice Chairman of The CityUnited Project said there is no threat to London’s “unrivalled” status as Europe’s financial capital – nor to its position as one of the world’s most important financial centres. The report, published by Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba), predicts headcount at the city’s financial institutions by the end of 2023 will be roughly 62,200, a fall of 3,300 compared with last autumn, or five percent, as a result of cost-cutting measures.

Mr Evans told: “For the CityUnited Project it’s not a surprise to see a German lending report saying banking jobs in the financial capital of Frankfurt are on the decline and are expected to drop by five percent.

“People will remember that one of the major stories from 2016 – and consistently ever since – was the predicted exodus on an almost biblical scale of banking and financial services jobs from the UK if the people voted to Leave.

“London was forecast to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs to Frankfurt and other EU27 cities.”

In reality, the numbers lost represented a “trickle”, said Mr Evans.

He added: “In April a report by New Financial could only identify 7,400 staff moves or local hires following the referendum.

“In fact, the news for the City and for other UK financial centres has been consistently good.

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“Even this month alone, Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs announced it is launching a new UK transaction bank to provide companies with day-to-day treasury operations such as payment processing and payroll.”

Meanwhile, EU companies continued to seek to launch their public listings in London, Mr Evans pointed out.

He cited as an example Swedish company Klarna, which is the most valuable start-up in Europe, having raised £1billon so far.

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CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski recently remarked: “Brexit will be great for the UK.

“People expected all the banks will move away. I think it’s the opposite.”

Mr Evans added: “On top of this, just last week the 2021 Global Fintech Rankings report was issued, showing that London is by far the most active city in the whole of Europe and is expanding rapidly, with its ‘challenger bank’ sector thriving.

“The CityUnited Project remains confident that with a new and even more attractive regulatory environment in the UK, London’s unrivalled position as Europe’s banking and financial services colossus will remain just that – unrivalled.

“And the new opportunities which have been emerging will make the City an even more exhilarating place to work.”

In her report, Ulrike Bischoff, Helaba’s financial centres expert said: “The regulation of financial services between the EU and the UK is a tough process as is Brexit itself.

“Comprehensive equivalence regulation by the EU for Great Britain is unlikely in the near future, and individual equivalence decisions are also uncertain.

“This would mean British Directives with which the EU would be recognised as equivalent.

“Looking ahead, there is a risk of regulatory arbitrage.

“After all, Brexit offers the opportunity to regulate regulations that have long been considered inappropriate now to change for their own market.”

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