Amsterdam has usurped London to become Europe’s biggest hub for trading shares. It is quite a shift for a city that was fifth behind Paris, Frankfurt and Milan only two months ago, while for the UK this is one of numerous recent developments that highlight the downsides of leaving the EU. So how did this happen, and where do things go from here?
First a bit of history. At the beginning of the 17th century, the financial centre of the world was not London, New York or Tokyo. It was an exchange building built by merchants on the River Amstel, Amsterdam. This was the time of the Dutch Golden Age, when its science, culture and commerce were among the most celebrated in the world.