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London reclaims position as Europe’s top trading hub

The shift back to the City was helped by the return of Swiss share trading in London

Article for the Telegraph by Simon Foy dated 2nd July 2021 begins:

London has reclaimed its crown as Europe's top share trading hub in a symbolic victory for the City after it fell behind Amsterdam in the wake of Brexit.

The capital shrugged off Brussels restrictions to record an average €8.9bn (£7.7bn) of shares traded each day in June, according to data from Cboe Europe, compared with €8.8bn in Amsterdam.

The previous month, €9.4bn was traded each day in Amsterdam in May versus around €8.7bn in London.

The Square Mile's recapture of the top spot represents a return to normality after it was knocked out of pole position in January because of Brexit, when swathes of activity were forcibly relocated by a European Union ban on the bloc's stocks from being traded outside its jurisdiction.

The shift back to the City was helped by the return of Swiss share trading in London, which resumed after the UK scrapped an EU-wide ban that had been in place since 2019.

Speaking to Bloomberg, which first reported the figures, Alberto Tocchio of trading company Kairos Partners said: “The return of Swiss share trading has helped overturn what has been just a temporary phase.

“London will soon regain the status of European and global trading hub and it could easily benefit from being away from the restrictive EU rules.”.

London's return to the top spot in Europe will come as a morale boost for the UK's finance industry, which was largely excluded from the Brexit deal and was stripped of its vital EU passporting rights.

Although share trading is only a tiny part of market activity, a host of commentators declared that the City's era of dominance was over because of Brexit when Amsterdam overtook it in January.

The new figures come as ministers launch a bonfire of red tape and seek to deepen London's ties with other global markets in the face of EU stonewalling on a finance deal.

Rishi Sunak outlined plans to boost the City's competitiveness on Thursday after abandoning hope that Brussels will give the City access to EU markets.

In his first Mansion House speech, the Chancellor said that Brexit had given the City "freedom to do things differently and better, and we intend to use it fully".

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