Eleven organizations representing EU financial centers and federations from eight EU member countries yesterday (09/11/2021) signed a Memorandum of Understanding: Berlin Finance Initiative, Febelfin, FinanceEstonia, FinanceMalta, Finanzplatz Hamburg, Frankfurt Main Finance, Italian Banking, Insurance and Finance Federation (FeBAF), Luxembourg for Finance, Paris Europlace, Stichting Capital Amsterdam, and Stuttgart Financial.
The Roundtable will promote the creation of a common EU financial market as well as strengthening cooperation and exchange regarding financial services between EU member states.
Signatories have agreed to jointly pursue the following objectives:
- Improve the competitiveness and efficiency of the EU’s financial industry, particularly in the areas of the Capital Markets Union, as well as digitalization, sustainability and other current and future challenges facing financial services.
- Provide EU financial centers and their representative organizations with a unified voice.
- Strengthen public understanding of the importance and positive role financial services plays within the EU.
- Support the exchange of best practices between EU Roundtable Members.
- Facilitate the development of dialogue with major financial centers outside the EU
- Build communications channels with EU institutions, as well as European financial industry associations and NGOs
During its inaugural meeting on 09 November 2021 in Luxembourg, the EU Roundtable met with representatives from both the European Investment Bank and the European Stability Mechanism in order to discuss how to strengthen the competitiveness of the EU financial market in the post-pandemic recovery. The members have, on this occasion, elected Nicolas Mackel as the first speaker of the Roundtable.
The EU Roundtable serves as a Regional Chapter of the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (“WAIFC”). Other EU financial centers may also join the EU Roundtable by signing the MOU, subject to the approval of an absolute majority of existing EU Roundtable members.
Commenting on the Memorandum and the inaugural meeting in Luxembourg, Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, stated:
“Luxembourg takes great pride in being a founding member of the EU Roundtable of Financial Centers. Our cooperation will help strengthen the financial industry in the EU and thus reinforce the economic competitiveness of our market participants. The challenges facing the industry, including the digital and climate transitions, as well as the need to deepen the EU single market for financial services, are issues which are common to us all and we all gain from working together towards finding solutions. I am honoured and grateful to have been elected Speaker of the Roundtable by my peers.”
Zahra Abdel Rassoul, Deputy Director of Stuttgart Finance, commented:
“The EU Roundtable of Financial Centres is an opportunity to lead important discussions on how Europe’s financial center can contribute to the transition of our economy. The Brexit or Pandemic are just recent events that point out the necessity of cooperation and communication between financial centers. We look forward to being a part of it.
Dr. Harald Vogelsang, Chairman of Finanzplatz Hamburg e.V., added:
“The financial sector with its service diversity is of central importance to companies located in the European Union. As one of Europe’s leading foreign trade locations Hamburg is closely linked to its European neighbouring countries. Our Roundtable membership enables us to strengthen our networking with other financial centres. Thus we reinforce the industry with a common voice on European level.”
Arnaud de Bresson, Managing Director of Paris Europlace, noted:
“Paris Europlace considers the concrete implementation of the European Capital Markets Union, as well as the acceleration of sustainable finance, to be key priorities for Europe. In that context, the strengthening of dialogue beween European financial centres, market professionals – including corporates, investors and financial intermediaries – and the European authorities is key to developing concrete initiatives and a progressive transition towards a new business model for economies.”
Kaido Saar, Chairman of the Management Board of FinanceEstonia, highlighted:
“It has taken a long time to talk about the true single market in the EU. For the competitiveness of the European Union it is essential that we take more steps towards this goal. FinanceEstonia is proud to participate in the market initiative on this path, supported by the highlight on technology and sustainability.”
Franco Delneri, Head of International and European Affairs of FeBAF, commented:
“Today in Luxembourg, FeBAF received the Certificate of Membership of the World Alliance of Financial Centres and signed the Memorandum of Understanding of the EU Roundtable of Financial Centres. Being part of this network allows the Italian financial community represented by FeBAF to consolidate its international projection and to contribute to the debate on global issues that are acquiring ever greater centrality.”
Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, stated:
“As Europe grows ever more closer together and Brexit showed how important a common financial market has become, it was time for financial centres to join forces. Only together will our voices be heard at a European level.”
Jean-Paul Rousseau, Director of Financial and Infrastructure at Febelfin, commented:
“Febelfin very much welcomes and supports the revival of the EU Roundtable of Finance Centres. The timing is particularly appropriate in the context of the number of challenges and opportunities to which EU financial centres will proactively devote time and energy in the coming years. Aligning views, actions and external communication to our EU stakeholders and local competent authorities will be key for the success of the EU’s economical and financial developments, as well as the climate change transition.”
Dr. Jochen Biedermann, Managing Director of the WAIFC, stressed:
“We are delighted that the EU Financial Centers will form a WAIFC regional chapter and work closer together. Coooperation between financial centers and exchange of best practices are key for making swift progress in some of the most pressing issues like Climate finance, Digital transformation, or the Economic recovery from the current pandemic.”