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Attractive offer: France cut its 33% corporate tax rate to 25% to lure business to Paris


investment banking hub,” says Nicolas Mackel, chief executive of Luxembourg for Finance. “The professionals you find here have an exper- tise that is geared towards other activities: funds, asset management, corporate banking and payments.” Luxembourg’s economic, political and


social stability is not lost on investors and its 12th placing in the GFCImakes it the EU’s high- est-ranked city after Brexit. But the country’s land mass of 2500 sq km creates some natural limits. “The Grand Duchy wants to maintain a balance in Luxembourg life, so there’s a tension to growth there,” says Mr Mainelli.


London’s partner With its linguistic, cultural and geographical proximity to London, it is not surprising that nearly 30% of Brexit relocations chose Dublin. But these are by no means its only merits. Ireland has the EU’s youngest population, sec- ond lowest corporate tax rate (12.5%) and a flourishing tech scene which boosts its finan- cial capabilities. Ireland also hosts Europe’s second biggest


fund sector and has attracted nearly 40% of asset managers leaving London, plus the likes of Barclays and Bank of America. A decade after its sovereign debt crisis, some query if financial stability concerns have curbed appetite for too large a financial sector.


But Kieran Donoghue, IDAIreland’s interna-


tional financial services head, notes that the difficulties during this period were focused on the domestic banks. “The foreign-owned insti- tutions operating in the country proved more stable and resilient, even in situations where their parent groups were the subject of official support in their homecountries,” he says. Dublin, however, ranks just 34th in the


GCFI, and many of its Brexit arrivals are the EU-facing operations of British firms looking to continuethe bulk of their operations in London.


Unstoppable force While London’s days as Europe’s heart of regu- lated financial services are over, it is storming ahead in other areas. Bank for International Settlements statistics showit comfortably leads foreign exchange trading globally, while London & Partners says the city’s fintechs attracted $3.6bn in venture capital from January to September 2020, outdone only by San Francisco. fDi Markets data shows that since the Brexit


referendum, London has attracted 249 green- field investments in financial services — more than Paris, Frankfurt and Luxembourg com- bined. And in the GFCI the city sits safely in sec- ond place. The consensus is that without access to the EU single market, London has simply fixed its gaze on conquering the global stage.■


December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com 77


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