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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.