World Economy

Frankfurt, Dublin Luring Bankers

Frankfurt, Dublin Luring BankersFrankfurt, Dublin Luring Bankers

Frankfurt, along with Dublin, is emerging on top in the battle to draw highly-paid banking jobs–and the tax revenue that they bring–away from London before Britain’s departure from the European Union in March 2019.

“I’m here to send you the regards of the Federal Chancellor. I am entitled to tell you we want you in Germany.” This private message from Chancellor Angela Merkel, delivered by a regional politician to Wall Street bankers last year, is having the desired effect, Reuters reported.

Germany has favored a subtle approach, with Merkel saying little if anything in public on what is a sensitive issue at home. Instead she relied on Volker Bouffier, prime minister of the state of Hesse where Frankfurt is located, to take her invitation to New York in November, according to three sources familiar with the discussions.

Irish leaders have been less reticent, but both countries have sent the same welcoming message to US, Japanese and other foreign banks–despite the public unpopularity of bankers that still lingers after the global financial crisis.

While Paris and Amsterdam are set to lure one or two major lenders, Germany and Ireland have so far secured the bulk of commitments from big-name banks.

Banks have been undertaking legal, financial and economic analysis in choosing new bases for their EU business if it can no longer be done from London. But they also need to know the political climate will be favorable.

The largest global banks in London have indicated that about 9,600 jobs could go to the continent or Ireland in the next two years, though few have yet moved, according to public statements and information from industry sources.

In recent weeks Morgan Stanley, Citi and Bank of America as well as Japan’s Nomura, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui have announced decisions for new EU headquarters, all opting for Frankfurt or Dublin.


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