Luxembourg claims right to host EU banking body after Brexit

30th March 2017, Comments 0 comments

Luxembourg has claimed the legal right to host the London-based European Banking Authority after Brexit, a government spokeswoman told AFP on Thursday.

Citing an European Union law dating back to 1965, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel made his case in a letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, the spokeswoman said.

"Luxembourg's claim to host the EBA is nothing more than the implemenation of this agreement that is still valid today," the spokeswoman said.

"We want the 1965 decision to be respected and therefore claim that the EBA's new host should be Luxembourg."

The move begins a furious battle by EU countries to claim UK-based spoils just a day after Britain officially declared its desire to leave the bloc.

Media reports suggest that cities including Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris and Vienna could also be trying to woo the EBA away.

The London headquarters of the European Union's financial regulator, in the Canary Wharf district, has 170 staff.

Britons voted in June to quit the EU bloc in a referendum that sent shockwaves across the globe and prompted several banks to announce plans to move jobs from London to continental Europe.

London on Wednesday triggered the formal process for leaving the union.

The EBA is perhaps best known for its regular stress tests on the EU's financial sector, which have become a vital focus for investors and regulators in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The EBA's London home -- in one of the city's tallest skyscrapers -- is enshrined in EU law, so moving it will require legislative action.

© 2017 AFP

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