LONDON, November 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Dmitry Leus of East-West Connect published an article in EU Today ahead of the 20 November 2017 General Affairs Council vote to decide which European city will host the European Banking Authority when the institution leaves its London home after Brexit takes place. The candidate countries are Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Luxembourg City, Vienna and Warsaw. In his article Mr Leus examines the contest to win the host status and the issues and candidates.
Mr Leus writes: "Host status also brings prestige and it is perhaps this more than anything that the cities are competing for, with a view to taking London's crown as Europe's financial centre." However he adds that there will be additional and more tangible benefits in addition for the successful host city: "Given that it is one of the EU's three supervisory authorities, it is safe to say that the presence of this agency in a city will attract banking and law firms, as well as increased tax revenues."
Mr Leus also comments on the criteria that the General Affairs Council will use to make their selection: "Contenders need to show that they can complete the new office space by the time Brexit happens. They need to be in an accessible location and have international schools as well as job opportunities for spouses and family members of the agency's staff. They also need to demonstrate that they can provide 'business continuity'. The other element is 'geographical spread', meaning that EU agencies should not be too heavily concentrated in any particular EU country or region."
He adds that the decision-making essentially takes place on two levels: "At the 'surface level', each bid will be formally measured against the set criteria; but behind the scenes there is a lot of horse-trading and deal making. "Mr Leus gives the example of Frankfurt's bid. He writes: "Frankfurt is very keen to host the EBA, and the city has already become a major target for banks fleeing the U.K. as a result of Brexit. Paris is not really seen as a serious option simply because they already host a major financial regulator, the European Securities and Markets Authority. France is also campaigning for Lille to win the European Medicines Agency (EMA). So the chatter for some time was of a Franco-German pact, resulting in the EBA going to Frankfurt and the EMA to Lille. But then rumours have been swirling around that France would rather back the Brussels bid than hand a prestigious agency to Germany."
Mr Leus highlights Dublin and Luxembourg as other contenders. "Dublin has the advantage of being a Euro member with a developed financial services sector and good transport links. Ireland has been praised for their economic recovery and willingness to stick to austerity measures. It would also fit with the current mood to allow a smaller country host, rather than a heavyweight member state such as France or Germany. But does Ireland have the allies to help swing the vote?" In terms of Luxembourg, Mr Leus noted the city's proximity to the European Investment Bank and the European Stability Mechanism, already located in the city. They also argue that their communications links would be an advantage, being within two hours travel of the European Central Bank and bodies in the financial sector in Frankfurt, Paris, and Brussels."
In conclusion Mr Leus writes: "Whatever the outcome of the contest, we can expect to see frenetic lobbying in the final run up to the vote in just under two weeks' time. The decision to relocate the agencies will bring home to the United Kingdom the real cost in terms of lost international prestige, and the loss of more than 1 000 highly paid professional jobs in London, as Britain's total bill for 'Brexit' starts to accelerate."
About East-West Connect
East-West Connect is a London-based forum focused on investment risk and opportunity in Central and Eastern Europe. We provide news and analysis about the investment and economic climate of the region.
East-West Connect was founded by Dmitry Leus, an entrepreneur and banking and financial services professional.
SOURCE East-West Connect