The German financial capital, Frankfurt, has emerged as the favourite to win a bid to host the relocated European Banking Authority (EBA) after Brexit, closely followed by Austrian capital Vienna.
Eight European cities are jostling for support in their attempts to secure the agency in tomorrow afternoon’s secret ballot of all 27 remaining EU nations.
The EBA supervises banks throughout the European Union, including non-Eurozone members. While the agency has only around 160 employees, currently occupying the 46th floor of One Canada Square in Canary Wharf, it has become a prized asset as London vacates its status as the pre-eminent financial centre within the EU.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes makes Frankfurt the favourite to win the relocation bid, with odds of 11/8, compared to 5/2 for second-favourite Vienna.
Frankfurt will almost certainly be the largest banking centre within the EU once the UK leaves, and it already hosts the European Central Bank and the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the main banking regulator for the Eurozone.
However, a Vienna move would help to assuage concerns of economic and financial dominance by Germany, Europe's largest economy.
Outside shots Prague in the Czech Republic and Warsaw in Poland are the only cities outside of the single currency union to bid for the agency.
Dublin is third in the odds, while Brussels in Belgium, Luxembourg and Paris have also thrown their hat into the ring.
The EBA has faced a higher number of resignations since the start of the summer as employees balk at moving away from London. The EBA only moved to its offices in Canary Wharf in 2014 from its previous City location.
Speaking last month to the economic committee at the European Parliament, EBA chair Andrea Enria said the relocation process is “putting our organisation under strain”, with employees facing “a period of great uncertainty, for them and their families”.
However, Enria also added that the move could offer the EBA a chance to “refocus our mission”, after the loss of the biggest non-Eurozone banking market in the EU, with Sweden likely to take over as the most financially powerful of the nations under the EBA’s remit but not in the currency union.