Dombret welcomes new head of Bundesbank's Representative Office in London

Andreas Dombret during his speech
Andreas Dombret during his speech

Bundesbank Executive Board member Andreas Dombret has introduced the new head of the Bundesbank’s Representative Office in London. Before an audience of invited guests, Mr Dombret welcomed Olga Wittchen, who had previously worked as an expert in international banking regulation at the Bundesbank's Central Office. Mr Dombret praised Ms Wittchen’s predecessor, Julia Becker, for her important role as an intermediary between the Bundesbank and the Bank of England and for her Brexit-related analyses. The Representative Office in London is one of the Bundesbank’s twelve representative offices abroad.

In his speech, Mr Dombret highlighted the mutual respect he believes the British and Germans have always shown each other, but argued that, in a world of Brexit and faltering international relations, a new basis for friendship and cooperation between the two countries had to be established. Achieving this, he said, would represent a great challenge. "We need to define the areas in which we wish to cooperate and determine how close we want this cooperation to be – not an easy task," Mr Dombret remarked, adding that personal ties and mutual understanding would grow even more important in such emotional and confrontational times.

Mr Dombret expressed his concern about recent attempts to scale back key reforms in the realm of financial regulation, citing the examples of US President Donald Trump's order for the Dodd-Frank Act to be rolled back and the UK government’s endeavours to strengthen London's financial centre through deregulation and tax relief. Mr Dombret also mentioned what he considers to be sometimes overzealous attempts by the European Commission to reduce conditionality for European banks, noting that "such strategies may appear to be in the national interest, but they are ultimately policies that mainly strengthen populist movements and pose a serious threat to financial stability".