Joachim Wuermeling ©Bert Bostelmann

Wuermeling supports stronger cooperation between EU financial centres

In view of Brexit, Bundesbank Executive Board member Joachim Wuermeling has spoken out in favour of closer cooperation between the Frankfurt financial centre and Paris. In a moderated interview in Frankfurt, Wuermeling said: “If we think about whether we should pursue a competitive or a cooperative approach, we should agree on cooperation when it comes to dividing up the cake.”

Wuermeling therefore also welcomed the initiative of the President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France, Valérie Pécresse, calling for closer cooperation with the Frankfurt financial centre. “Our experience of European projects has been very positive and I would very much welcome a joint partnership with Paris if Frankfurt is open to this idea”, he said. At the same time, Wuermeling is confident that in future Frankfurt will assume a leading role in the financial markets of continental Europe.

Striving for a digital infrastructure

In this discussion, he also called for more effort to be channelled into the creation of a digital infrastructure in Europe. According to Wuermeling, “the ‘digital city of Europe’ project requires a large boost from politicians and financial markets”. Although the European markets are fragmented, digitalisation could help bridge distances. Wuermeling criticised the lack of cross-border interconnectedness in the financial markets of Europe. He sees a need for creating a “digital financial hub” – a network covering all continental European financial markets – in order to serve as a common marketplace with global relevance.

This “financial hub” would not be limited to capital markets, but rather also need to be extended to the financial markets. Wuermeling said “we need to ensure we maintain our own accesses to the global financial markets in continental Europe”. Ultimately, the goal must be to be able to buy and sell products on a single shared platform at all times all across Europe.