Minsheng Financial Leasing from China, Silicon Valley Bank from the US and the tech company Airfinity from London have opened offices in Copenhagen in the past year as a result of the lobby work done by Copenhagen Financial Hub together with Copenhagen Capacity, Invest in Denmark and Vækstfonden to make Copenhagen the financial capital of the Nordic region.
"Four other companies have said that they will announce in the coming months that they will settle in Copenhagen", says Anders Klinkby, Project Director at Copenhagen Financial Hub.
"We are particularly working to attract companies in asset management, fintech and investment banking, which are niches where Copenhagen is already in a strong position. The goal is to have between four and eight companies establish themselves in Copenhagen by the end of 2019, and the expectation is that in the first year, they will hire a double-digit number of employees, which will grow to a three-digit figure over the years, if the companies' business plans hold", he explains.
Copenhagen Financial Hub is a public-private partnership supported by Finans Danmark, Forsikring & Pension, Nordea-Fonden, Industriens Fond and the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, amongst others. Copenhagen Financial Hub, which was established in 2017, works closely with Copenhagen Capacity and Invest in Denmark to attract foreign companies to Copenhagen.
"We have a number of leads on interested companies that I and the project's management group have regular contact with, particularly in New York, Beijing and London. We give them facts on, for example, the fintech scene, regulation, the business environment and the financial sector in Denmark, and about Copenhagen, and those who are interested then choose to come here to visit", says Anders Klinkby.
Good international reputation
He generally does not find that the money laundering cases in several banks keep foreign fintech and financial companies from looking at Denmark.
"Historically, the Danish financial sector has had a good international reputation. In the international financial sector, people are quite familiar with the major players in the Danish pension sector, which is number 1 in Mercer's annual index of the world's best pension systems. Right now, there are some cracks in the banks' reputation, and this has been a problem for our work in some situations, but you have to keep in mind there are also money laundering cases in other countries. The people we are in contact with do not see the money laundering cases in Danish banks as an expression of a systemic problem in Denmark", Anders Klinkby points out.
In the work to attract foreign financial players to Denmark, Copenhagen Financial Hub relies on a study from Deloitte that places Copenhagen as one of the most attractive European cities to do business in.
Overall, Copenhagen is considered more attractive than Amsterdam, London, Dublin, Berlin, Stockholm, Luxembourg, Frankfurt and Paris when measuring and comparing the following nine parameters:
Access to talent, taxation, regulation, cost level, digital maturity, quality of life, ease of doing business, political and macroeconomic stability and good infrastructure.
On a scale from 1-5, where 1 is best and 5 is worst, the nine European cities are ranked as follows:
1. Copenhagen 1.8
2. Amsterdam 2.1
3. London 2.7
4. Dublin 2.8
5. Berlin 3.1
6. Stockholm 3.3
7. Luxembourg 3.3
8. Frankfurt 3.4
9. Paris 4.0