Friday 2 July 2021 11:45 am

Post-Brexit rebound: London muscles out Amsterdam to reclaim trading top spot

The City reclaimed its place at the top of Europe’s largest share trading centre rankings last month for the first time since Brexit, muscling out Amsterdam from top spot.

£7.6bn (€8.9bn) of shares a day were traded on average at London venues in June, compared to £7.6bn (€8.8bn) for various Dutch venues, new data published by Cboe Europe revealed today.

The robust trading figures are a symbolic shift of power from Amsterdam to London and show the capital has defied concerns that it could recede from being a major player on the global stage after the end of the Brexit transition period.

London’s rise back to the top spot comes despite the EU blocking investors from trading shares in several companies listed in the capital.

Brussels has still not recognised rules governing UK financial markets as equivalent to its own even though Britain formerly left the EU over six months ago. This impasse has locked European investors out of trading in certain stocks listed in the capital.

Read more: Post-Brexit change: EU state aid rules to be replaced by new UK regime

The friction in trading caused by the lack of an equivalence agreement has partly driven several financial services firms to relocate from the City to mainland Europe in an effort to avoid disruption to their usual trading processes.

However, analysts have highlighted that the lack of a post-Brexit financial services deal could give the UK greater freedom to follow a path of its own over how it governs its financial services industry.

This freedom may enable London to think “more pragmatically about their future and what they can do to support their trading ecosystems that they couldn’t before” said Sylvain Thieullent, CEO of Horizon, a provider of electronic trading systems.

The new figures come as Chancellor Rishi Sunak laid out plans to boost the competitiveness of the UK’s financial services industry yesterday.

“We’re consulting on reforms to the regulation of wholesale capital markets” Sunak told a conference at Mansion House.

The Chancellor highlighted that Brexit presents an opportunity for the UK to craft policy that is more tailored to the specific nuances of Britain’s financial markets.

Sunak said the government is considering new measures intended to “boost our competitiveness across both regulation and tax.”

Paris was the third largest venue, seeing average daily trading drop from almost 6.1bn euros in May to 5.8bn euros in June.

Read more: Sunak reveals new climate impact disclosure rules

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