Europe's financial capital
London will no longer be the financial capital of Europe after the UK leaves the European Union in February 2020. This was announced on Wednesday by Stephane Boujnah, CEO and chairman of Euronext stock exchange, in an interview with Bloomberg. However, it is worth noting that the City of London's ranking as the top two financial centres along with Wall Street has long been a source of aggravation in continental Europe.
The Financial Times earlier wrote that Paris could overtake London to become the continent's main stock market. According to analyst firm Refinitiv, the asset value of companies listed in the French capital has soared from $1.8bn at the start of 2016 to $2.83bn, coming close to the value of London's assets, reaching $2.89bn.
"Companies that used to be normally incorporated in the British capital are now outside the capital," Boujnah added. The airline Ryanair prefers to do business in Dublin, the record corporation Universal Music Group in Amsterdam and the Allfunds Group in the United Kingdom, the Euronext chief executive clarified.
However, the European Union has published three bills aimed at deepening capital markets by becoming less dependent on London after Brexit.
Britain's exit from the European Union has forced the EU to reconsider its reliance on London for clearing trillions of euros in derivatives, said European Union European Commissioner for Financial Stability Mairead McGuinness.
The first bill aims to create the EU's own derivatives clearing capacity. All access to the EU for UK clears is due to end in June 2025, but the bill now calls this into question, industry representatives said.
A division of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) called London Clearing House (LCH) clears most of the euro interest rate swaps targeted by EU legislation, said it supports the importance of continued access by EU firms to UK clearing houses to hedge their risks in all currencies.
The second Insolvency Bill aims to improve clarity and predictability for investors in one EU member state who want to invest in a company in another member state about how they will get their money back if the firm goes bankrupt.
A third bill aims to simplify how companies save around €100 million a year in compliance fees.
The Kingdom left the EU on 1 February 2020 after years of negotiations. On 1 January 2021, the post-Brexit transition period during which the UK was subject to all European regulations expired. According to experts, the move resulted in economic losses and the severance of cultural and scientific ties.