Germany is battling for London's €930-billion-a-day clearing business

LONDON — Germany’s main financial market index provider Deutsche Boerse is battling to secure the business of clearing euro derivative contracts after Brexit.

The company on Monday announced a new plan to share profits with the largest participants on its Eurex clearing platform in an attempt to bring more business to the country and pull it away from London.

Under the new scheme Eurex, which clears derivatives and other financial instruments, will give a share of its profits to its 10 most active participants, as well as offering seats on its board to the biggest five.

JPMorgan, Citi, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley have all already expressed an interest in the scheme, a Eurex statement on Monday said.

“This market-led initiative will benefit clients and the broader marketplace through greater choice and competition, improved price transparency as well as reduced concentration risk,” Eric Muller, head of Eurex Clearing said.

Clearing houses such as LCH and ICE Clear Europe in London manage credit risk, acting as a middle-man in swaps and derivatives trades to guarantee the contract in the event that one of the parties involved in the trade goes bust. They have grown in importance since the financial crisis as they are meant to limit systematic risk. Around 70% of euro-denominated trades worth €930 billion (£820 billion) a day pass through London, according to a House of Lords report.

The location of euro-denominated trade clearing has been a hot topic since the euro first entered circulation in the late 1990s.

European policymakers have argued that euro clearing should take place within the euro area. Britain has repeatedly had to defend its right to clear euro trades, given that it does not have the euro. Years of disputes culminated in a legal battle in 2015, which the UK ultimately won.

However, Brexit has provided fresh impetus for those seeking to move clearing out of London. The ECB proposed a change to its statutes that would give it “a clear legal competence in the area of central clearing,” back in June.

The Bank of England last week warned that there are “significant risks from disruption to cross-border clearing activity between the UK and EU.”

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