The aerial view of the Banking District (“Bankenviertel“) was taken during a skyline flight in Frankfurt: The center of the Banking District is the area on both sides of the Gallusanlage and the Taunusanlage, along Neue Mainzer Strasse, Junghofstrasse, Neue Schlesingergasse, Große Gallusstrasse and Kaiserstrasse. In addition, the area on both sides of Mainzer Landstrasse from Taunusanlage to Platz der Republik and Bockenheimer Landstrasse to Opernplatz are also part of the district. The bordering residential areas of the Westend and Bahnhofsviertel districts as well as the European Quarter (“Europaviertel“) at Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage also belong to the Banking District, while there are no formal borders in place for it.
The history of Frankfurt as a financial center goes back to the Middle Ages and has been shaped by political events to this day. In its present, prominent form, the banking quarter developed only after the events of the Second World War. Before the war, the capital Berlin had been the leading German financial center. The headquarters of the most important credit institutions were concentrated in Berlin’s Banking District. At the time of the division of Germany, Berlin’s historic Banking District was located in Berlin-Mitte and thus in East Berlin. In addition, the major banks located in Berlin were placed under forced administration and smashed. In the Soviet occupation zone, the banks were nationalised and business activities were discontinued; in the western occupation zones, successor companies were founded between 1945 and 1948 whose activities were initially limited to the respective occupation zone.
The Economic Council of the United Economic Area of the Bizone took its seat in the building of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 1947. The Bank Deutscher Länder (lit. United Bank of German States) was founded on 1 March 1948. It virtually became the successor to the Reichsbank and had its headquarters in the building of the former Reichsbank headquarters on Taunusanlage. In 1957, the Reichsbank headquarters became the Deutsche Bundesbank.
In 1956, the Law on the Area of Establishment of Credit Institutions of 24 December 1956 created the legal prerequisites for the reunification of the major banks. As a result, Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank were established in Frankfurt on January 1, 1957. Commerzbank continued to have its legal domicile in Düsseldorf until 1990, but from the outset it conducted a large part of its business operations in Frankfurt.