Germany sees rise in relocation queries from UK-based banks

The German finance ministry says it has been receiving an “increasing number of requests” from banks about moves to Frankfurt.

A rising number of UK-based financial institutions have been contacting Germany to gather information about relocating following the Brexit vote, the country’s finance ministry has said.

Speaking at a banking conference on Monday Thomas Steffen, a senior ministry official, said his office was fielding more and more queries for information about Frankfurt, which is the financial capital of the country.

“I have to say that we at the finance ministry are registering an increasing number of requests,” he said.

“And we are very, very open to such discussions.”

Concerns were raised following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union that high profile financial institutions could leave Britain, as the withdrawal could put vital passporting rights at risk.

Passporting enables financial firms to trade seamlessly across the European single market without the need for licences in individual countries.

But the system will not be guaranteed once Britain leaves the EU, and uncertainty surrounding the Government’s negotiating strategy has led to rumours many major companies were putting contingency plans in place.

Last month Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, said: “Their hands are quivering over the relocate button.”