The Future of Europe's Financial Centres

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The intention of this article by Karel Lannoo is to subject European financial centres to a SWOT analysis, assessing their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. We start with a closer definition of the term financial centre and a classification of the different kinds of financial centres found in Europe. A second section analyses the extent to which EU legislation and in particular the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) may lead to an intensification of financial centre competition. In a final section, we make some assessments for the future.