Bankfurt’s falling behind

With all eyes on New York and London on the current topic of who’s the leader of the pack as the financial capital of the world, spare a thought for Frankfurt. The report Finanzplatz Frankfurt - Ein Standort bewegt sich (in German, or see this summary), which it must be noted was published some time ago in June last year, was the recent subject of review in the Financial Times and the Bahrain Tribune - the latter, admittedly, not one of my daily reads - under such headlines as ‘Frankfurt suffering’.

Frankfurt am Main, sometimes optimistically referred to as ‘Mainhattan’ or less often as ‘Bankfurt’, is compared with London and Paris in this report, which was co-authored by Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (or Helaba for short) and HA Hessen Agentur GmbH, the state’s economic development agency, among others. In its comparison it covers equity markets, business education, logistics and costs.

The authors make several recommendations, including making existing legal frameworks more competitive internationally (report p.72, summary p.8) and conclude that:

[t]he British financial centre holds a position of uncontested pre-eminence in Europe. On the European continent, Frankfurt and Paris are competing for leadership. Frankfurt as a financial centre has good chances of capturing that leading position over the medium term and securing it over the long term.

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