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2016 08-18-frankfurt and-brexit-en

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“Frankfurt can benefit from Britain leaving the EU,” says Michael Kemmer, the Association of German Banks’ general manager. “As the seat of important European financial-sector institutions, embedded in a strong and highly innovative economy with a stable legal framework, Frankfurt is virtually predestined to be London’s continental EU partner.” Mr Kemmer is convinced that Germany and Britain will remain major trade partners even after Brexit and that London will retain its status as a global financial centre. He believes that, at the same time, Frankfurt can gain in importance as the UK’s continental partner. To allow this, a firm political commitment to Frankfurt as a financial centre is required in particular. “We need a clear signal that Frankfurt, Germany’s financial centre, is ready to take on board services and service providers from the UK. This will create new jobs and economic growth,” Mr Kemmer stresses.

To strengthen Frankfurt as a financial centre in the face of European competition, national regulatory obstacles should also be identified and removed, he adds. In the Association of German Banks’ view, this means for example:
•allowing companies to prepare individual financial statements solely in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs). Unlike in many other EU countries, German accounting law continues to call for additional presentation of individual financial statements complying with the provisions of the German Commercial Code (HGB);
•bringing the law governing general terms and conditions of business into line with customary European standards. Germany is one of the few countries whose general terms and conditions of business apply not only to consumers but also to commercial transactions. The consequence is that certain transactions are already conducted today in other European countries rather than in Germany so as to avoid any legal disputes.
•abolishing the ban on the tax deductibility of the bank levy in Germany. Like in other European countries, the bank levy should be tax-deductible as an operating expense.

Veröffentlicht in: Wirtschaft & Finanzen
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2016 08-18-frankfurt and-brexit-en

  1. 1. Frankfurt as a financial centre and Brexit View of the Association of German Banks Michael Kemmer Frankfurt am Main 18 August 2016
  2. 2. ©BundesverbanddeutscherBankene.V. 2  The private banks and the Association of German Banks regret the result  Despite all the uncertainty, we assume Brexit will happen A divided country Clear majority for Remain in - Scotland (62%) and - Northern Ireland (56%) Around 60% of Londoners also voted Remain Brexit voters are grey-haired 18-24 year olds: 75% Remain 25-49 year olds: 56% Remain 50-64 year olds: 44% Remain over 65: 39% Remain Majority for Remain Majority for Leave
  3. 3. ©BundesverbanddeutscherBankene.V. 3 Association of German Banks’ position Possible exit date No quick solutions; considerable uncertainty in the next few years Life after Brexit as yet unclear: privileged access to EU likely, but without full passporting  Keep EU/UK relations as close as possible  Ensure a level playing field and reciprocity  Make the Frankfurt financial centre London’s continental EU partner
  4. 4. ©BundesverbanddeutscherBankene.V. Frankfurt highly suitable as an EU hub 4 Financial centre of the eurozone  Frankfurt is the banking and financial centre of the eurozone  Efficient stock market, which will become even more important after merging with the LSE  Centre of fintech innovation; bridge to startup capital Berlin Banking supervision  Frankfurt is the seat of the European Central Bank, the SSM and EIOPA and thus the most important centre of monetary and financial policy in the European Union Location factors  Major centre of financial research and training  Good transport and digitalisation infrastructure  Cost of living comparatively low by European standards; office space also comparatively inexpensive and readily available Sound legal environment  Stable political system  Governed by the rule of law with functioning legal remedies  Legal certainty and smoothly functioning administration Dispute resolution in labour law  Dispute resolution is swift, inexpensive and predictable  No significant “suing culture”  Codetermination does not hamper managerial decision-making
  5. 5. ©BundesverbanddeutscherBankene.V. 5 Political commitment RegulationAdministration  Clear commitment on the part of the federal and regional governments, the city of Frankfurt and the financial industry to promote Frankfurt as the financial centre of the European Union  Removal of “home-grown” regulatory obstacles  Administrative support for Frankfurt as a financial centre Prerequisites for Frankfurt’s positioning
  6. 6. ©BundesverbanddeutscherBankene.V. Five proposals for administrative support of Frankfurt as a financial centre 6 EBA  Relocate the European Banking Authority (EBA) to Frankfurt Language  BaFin, the Bundesbank, and also regional and local authorities should offer information and handle applications in English; establish a network of dedicated contact persons  Relevant German laws (such as the German Banking Act) should be available in English  More administrative processes should be conducted in English Supervisors  Ensure BaFin has sufficient personnel resources to deal quickly and unbureaucratically with applications for permission to provide or expand financial services Location factors  Make it easier to set up new businesses and relocate international staff Fintechs  Strengthen collaboration between the fintech centres of Frankfurt and Berlin
  7. 7. ©BundesverbanddeutscherBankene.V. Five proposals for removing home-grown regulatory obstacles 7 Legislation governing terms and conditions of business  Further enhance personal autonomy by lifting the applicability of general business terms and conditions to commercial transactions Bank levy  Remove the ban on the tax deductibility of the bank levy (in place since 2010 in Germany and since 2016 for contributions to the Single Resolution Fund) Financial transaction tax  Abandon plans to introduce a financial transaction tax at global, European or German level Accounting  Allow companies to prepare individual financial statements in accordance with IFRSs only, without the need to prepare German GAAP accounts as well Venture capital  Ensure transparent taxation of private equity investors
  8. 8. ©BundesverbanddeutscherBankene.V. Comparison of London, Frankfurt and Paris A brief overview London Frankfurt Paris Population (2014; in million) 8.5 0.7 2.2 Foreign banks as a percentage of all banks (%; ECB definition, as at end of 2015) 51.1 37.9 28.4 Financial centre ranking (GFCI1, 2016) 1 18 32 Ease of Doing Business Index (country-specific, 2015) 6 15 27 Tax burden ranking (country-specific, 2015) 15 72 87 Market value of stock exchanges (market capitalisation in €bn, 2015) 133 15.7 3.34 Share turnover (EOB trades in €bn, 2015) 2,4033 1,410 1,8824 ETF turnover (in €bn, 2015) 388.33 198.1 162.44 Sources: Helaba, World Bank, WFE, Z/Yen 1 The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) of the Z/Yen think tank ranks the competitiveness of financial centres based on indices analysing the business environment, development of the financial sector, infrastructure, human capital and reputation and also on responses to a survey of financial experts. 2 The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index ranks economies from 1 to 189 on their ease of doing business. A high ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to starting and operating a local firm. 3 LSE with Borsa Italiana 4 Euronext, which operates in Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris 8