John Cryan said the race to become the European Union’s new leading financial centre was “won before it even began” after the UK’s Brexit vote.
“Of course, new financial industry jobs will be created in cities like Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris,” he said at a conference in Frankfurt today.
“However, in reality, none of these locations have the structures in place to assume a large portion of the business from London. There is only one European city which can fulfil these requirements and that city is Frankfurt.
“This is where the relevant supervisory authorities, major law firms and consultancies are based, there are excellent data lines to the entire world and we have an international airport on our doorstep.”
He added that it was up to Frankfurt to decide how much business it would like to gain from Brexit. And he warned that non-EU cities could benefit instead if Germany does not “want to take full advantage of the option that it now has”.
Cryan added: “It is always an option for an international bank to retain only the absolute minimum and to carry out practically all tasks that are not connected to direct client contact in America or Asia.
“For this reason, it’s not about a choice between Dublin, Paris or Frankfurt – it’s about a choice between New York, Singapore or Frankfurt.”
Frankfurt-headquartered Deutsche Bank is planning to relocate jobs from London to Frankfurt to prepare for Brexit. One executive warned that this could affect up to 4,000 jobs.