London has received backing to retain its financial centre status after Brexit from an unlikely source.
Hubertus Vath, the managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance, a body promoting the status of the German city as a business hub, has said London will remain the “foremost European financial centre”.
But, he said, rather than being the single “star” of Europe, it will have to share the status.
“We were and still are really sad about the decision to leave,” Vath told City A.M. “Our clear objective is to keep the UK as close to the union as possible.”
He added: “We do not want to be seen as hooray-ing and saying ‘how much can we get out of it?’ We believe that London will in future have a significant role to play.”
Currently, Vath describes the UK capital as being the “strong star in the centre… and all the other centres being directly connected to London rather than amongst each other”.
He said: “What we see in the future will emerge is still London being the foremost European financial centre.”
But he added that London would move from being the single star to be part of a “ring” structure, “which will be much stronger [and] inter-connected”.
“And that’s the picture that we foresee,” he added.
“We believe that Frankfurt is absolutely in the pole position to be in this ring of the most outstanding of financial centres.
“Why is that the case? It’s not because Frankfurt can compete with Paris on culture, in history and brand. But Frankfurt certainly can compete on knowledge, on financial centre, infrastructure, and certainly on skillset and human talent.”
Asked if he was expected an influx of companies moving resources to Frankfurt after Brexit, he said: “Clearly, yes.”