MADRID (Reuters) - Spain will compete with other countries in the European Union to host the headquarters of the EU's London-based bank regulator following Britain's decision to leave the bloc, its deputy prime minister said on Friday.
The race to host the European Banking Authority is led by Paris and Frankfurt, the largest EU financial centres, but no decision has been reached and other countries have also put themselves forward in the scramble to give London's agencies a new home.
Spain has set up a working group to drive Spain's bid for the EBA and for the London-based European Medicines Agency, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told a news conference.
Santamaria also said Spain would seek to lure international banks based in London which are looking to move their operations to remain inside the European Union.
"We will focus intensely on measures that can help us to boost the competitiveness that Spain already has, such as its level of economic growth, so that financial institutions that need a secondary base in the EU move here," she said.
An EBA spokeswoman said last Sunday that the European Union would have to decide on relocation and in the meantime the agency would continue to operate in London.
Spain currently only hosts minor European agencies such as the EU Agency for Safety and Health at Work and the European Fisheries Control Agency.
(Reporting by Angus Berwick; Editing by Sandra Maler)