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Economics

Frankfurt Doesn’t Want London’s Bankers

Residents of the sleepy city are wary of the cash and glitz a Brexit exodus would bring.
Frankfurt.

Frankfurt.

Photographer: Mel Stuart/Gallerystock

Corrected

In the scramble to lure financial jobs from London in the wake of Brexit, Frankfurt is leading the pack—at least nine banks have said they’ll move positions there. That could ultimately mean 10,000 new jobs and well over $100 million annually in new tax revenue for the German financial capital, auguring an economic and cultural rebirth. Micha Hintz hates the idea.

“Brexit will be very bad for people with a normal income,” says Hintz, an owner of the 37-year-old Karl Marx bookshop, echoing local activists seeking to protect what they say is a cozy, comfortable city with little need for the cash and glitz that legions of wealthy newcomers might bring. “It may be good for the city’s international competitiveness,” Hintz, 61, says from behind his impressively Marxian beard. “But what we need is affordable housing. And the population has no voice in this.”