Prime Minister Volker Bouffier and his deputy, Minister of Economics Tarek Al-Wazir, regret that the headquarters of the European Banking Authority (EBA) will not be moving to Frankfurt. “The German Federal Government submitted an excellent application with Frankfurt as the new location, which we were glad to support with all efforts possible. We now congratulate Paris for receiving the final acceptance. Even without the EBA, Frankfurt will remain the most important financial center in Europe following Brexit,” explain the Prime Minister and his deputy in response to the decision by the EU Council of Ministers.
The Prime Minister emphasized that Frankfurt as a financial hub boasted the best preconditions for attracting the EBA on account of the city’s infrastructure, its proximity to banks and the presence of other financial and EU institutions. “We knew from the very beginning that besides factual arguments, political considerations and other criteria could likewise play a role, meaning that the German application was not necessarily a shoe-in. And that’s how the decision turned out. Despite this result, the financial hub of Frankfurt is sure to be further strengthened on account of Brexit,” notes Bouffier.
“Of course, we were hoping to take the lead in this race,” adds Minister of Economics Al-Wazir. “I am convinced of one thing: We had excellent objective arguments. Compared to the competition, there was, however, one thing that we could not offer: rent-free office space for the EBA. It’s really a shame that the decision was obviously dependent on such factors in the end.”
“We very much regret that the EU Council of Ministers did not choose Frankfurt as the future headquarters of the EBA,” explains Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt, Managing Director of the HA Hessen Agentur GmbH and the Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH. “Although we submitted a top-notch application for our financial hub, in which all of the deciding factors carried the necessary weight, Frankfurt was unable to win out over the other applicants. We would like to thank everyone who contributed to drafting the application for Frankfurt.”
Waldschmidt emphasizes that efforts to “further strengthen the importance of our financial hub would be made in spite of this decision.” During numerous talks in Berlin and Brussels, at which Frankfurt’s strengths were also highlighted, efforts were also made to promote Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region among banks and companies seeking a new location for their operations in the EU. “We plan to take advantage of the potentials held by Brexit. We are in a very good position to convince the global players of the financial world that the future of their activities and the interests of their customers in continental Europe can best be shaped from right here in Frankfurt: a city marked by international appeal and a welcoming culture,” explains Dr. Waldschmidt.
Prime Minister Bouffier and Minister of Economics Al-Wazir thanked the German Federal government for pursuing Hessen’s initiative for submitting an application, the EBA special representatives and former Minister of Economics, Dr. Theo Waigel, and all the other partners who supported Frankfurt in its bid for the EBA headquarters.
Further information about the economic hub of Hessen can be found at www.invest-in-hessen.com.