Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Merkel Ally Says Frankfurt Can Win U.K. Banks Over Paris, Dublin

  • Hesse premier says his state ‘very active’ in Brexit pitch
  • German economy, stability should lure bankers, Bouffier says

Frankfurt, Germany’s financial center and home to the European Central Bank, has good chances to edge out competitors such as Paris and Dublin in luring banking business from London after the Brexit vote, according to the regional state leader.

“We’re offering a lot, we’re consulting a lot,” Hesse state premier Volker Bouffier said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Tuesday. “I was just in New York with all the big American banks -- we said: ‘Here you have a good location.’”

Bouffier, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said his state government is “very active” in pitching Germany’s fifth-largest city to potential newcomers that want to be inside the European Union once the U.K. leaves. “I think we have a big chance.”

The U.K.’s impending exit from the EU has cast a spotlight on potential locations that could win bank business should Brexit trigger an exodus from London. Financial firms’ so-called passporting rights that allow them to do business throughout the EU are a concern for the financial industry as the U.K. government approaches Brexit negotiations next year.

Banks’ need to have a strong presence within the 19-member euro-area would play to Frankfurt’s advantage, considering the presence of the ECB, the Bundesbank and BaFin, Germany’s financial regulator, Bouffier said. A strong economy and political stability would factor into decisions, too, he said.

“Paris is fascinating and Dublin is beautiful too,” Bouffier said during a CDU convention in Essen, Germany. “We have the biggest collection of competence, on experience and knowledge of what goes on in banking.”

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