Frankfurt eyes “once in a century” Brexit business opportunity

William Turvill
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Some 68 per cent of 400 German financial sector businesses said the UK's access to the single market should be restricted (Source: Getty)

Frankfurt businesses believe the city has “once in a century chance” to capitalise on the UK’s Brexit vote, according to a new study.

The city can act as a “bridge” between London and Europe, the Financial Centre Frankfurt group has said.

But the majority of 400 German businesses surveyed want to see the UK’s access to the single market restricted following the vote.

Read more: Das ist gut: London backed to remain financial centre... by Frankfurt

“Frankfurt was well prepared for a Brexit,” Hubertus Vath, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance, said. “We will make every effort to take advantage of this once in a century chance.

“It is clear to us that London will maintain its position as the central financial centre. We hope that the Financial Centre Frankfurt will become the bridge between London and the Eurozone.”

Frankfurt Main Finance and the Center for Financial Studies surveyed around 400 companies in the German financial sector for the report.

Some 68 per cent of those who took part said the EU should not grant the UK unrestricted access to the EU’s single market after Brexit.

The majority believe Brexit will either be neutral (48 per cent) or positive (35 per cent) for the German economy, compared with 15 per cent who anticipate a negative outcome.

Read more: Goldman Sachs not eyeing up Frankfurt post-Brexit vote

Asked which business areas can benefit from Brexit, 78 per cent of respondents pointed to securities trading, half to asset management and corporate banking, and 43 per cent to professional services.

Some 95 per cent said they thought the Frankfurt financial centre would benefit from Brexit, compared with two-thirds for Paris, 15 per cent for Amsterdam and six per cent for London.

Professor Volker Bruhl, managing director of the Center for Financial Studies, said: “The survey results confirm that many financial market participants had not expected the Brexit outcome at all.

“This surprise effect is reflected in the high level of stock market volatility we can expect to see in the coming months.”

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