• Madrid Investment Attraction

At a glance

  • No.1 most competitive financial centre within Southern Europe
  • 1 out of 3 Spanish financial and insurance professionals work in Madrid
  • 18% of HQs for financial, insurance, accounting and services firms in Spain
  • 57% of Fintech startups in Spain

Madrid is Spain’s eminent financial centre and also distinguished as the most competitive financial centre within Southern Europe (Global Financial Centres Index 2018). Given this, the leading financial companies in Spain are drawn there. Almost 18,000, or 19%, of Spain’s financial, insurance, accounting and services firms are headquartered in Madrid.

Financial companies in Spain and Madrid (2017) Spain Madrid
Financial services 2,536 1,003
Insurance, reinsurance and pension funds 972 382
Ancillary activities 71,979 12,010
TOTAL 75,487 17,726

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Central Company Directory HYPERLINK

Sectoral concentration is even higher for big companies with 60% of the insurance and financial services companies with 50+ employees based in Madrid. As the capital city, it is the most suitable place for large, international firms offering a wide range of professional services.

Financial companies with more than 50 employees Spain Madrid
Financial services 173 97
Insurance, reinsurance and pension funds 106 30
Ancillary activities 116 75
Total 395 236

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Central Company Directory HYPERLINK

Madrid is home to the headquarters of the main Spanish banks such as Santander, BBVA, Bankinter, Bankia, as well as financial institutions. Practically all foreign banks and investment funds operating in Spain have offices in Madrid including ICBC, Bank of America, Societé Générale, Espirito Santo, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, ING. Other institutions with their headquarters or national offices in Madrid are IADB, the European Investment Bank and IOSCO.

1 out of 3 Spanish financial and insurance professionals work in Madrid. This concentration of companies and employees is bolstered by the specific finance programmes offered by the Madrid’s top business schools including IE, ESADE and IESE.

Startups and projects related to innovative financial technologies (Fintech) are thriving in Madrid. In this sense, BBVA’s transformation is a role model having been called “best mobile bank app worldwide” by Forrester.

In 2015 there were 106 Fintech startups created in Madrid which is 57% of the total number in Spain, according to Fintech Spain. Over half of them are located in the urban centre, mainly in the Salamanca, Tetuán and Castellana business areas. They mainly specialize in payments and loans services and over half of them have a B2C focus.

The main institutional regulators within the Spanish financial sector have their headquarters in Madrid:

Madrid is also home to the head office of the Spanish Stock Exchanges and Markets (BME), which manages the various local stock exchanges such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, the MAB alternative market and Latibex, the only stock market in Europe for Latin American stocks which includes notable companies such as Gerdau, Petrobras or América Móvil.

Spain is the 3rd investment destination for sovereign wealth funds in Europe, according to Sovereign Wealth Funds 2017 (IE Business School, ICEX). Since 2009 36.4 billion euros have been invested in Spain across all sectors by sovereign wealth funds.

The 10 most active funds make up over 70% of the total sovereign fund investments. Norway’s renowned pension fund (Government Pension Fundamental Global) is the largest globally and is the most active fund in Spain. Second to this is Abu Dhabi’s pension fund (Autoridad de Inversión de Abu Dhabi) followed by Saudi Arabia (SAMA) and then Kuwait. Singapore, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and China were also significant investors.

Madrid’s central business district is located along the length of Paseo de la Castellana, concentrated in the ‘Azca’ area. They key advantages of this area include its central location, wide space for offices (with high-rise buildings such as Torre Picasso and Torre Europa), retail areas nearby and easy access by car, bus, underground metro and train.

In recent years, a new financial district has been developed in a northern area of Paseo de la Castellana. A planned extension to this will create the new urban area of Madrid Puerta Norte alongside the iconic Cuatro Torres. This urban development will include a new residential area and a financial-focused business district, similar to Canary Wharf in London or La Défense in Paris. This new extension of the CBD will be attractive to multinationals and foreign investments as 1.5 million m² have been allocated for new offices. It will be integrated with one of the great transport hubs in the city, Chamartín railway station, which operates suburban and long distance trains.