London: Still the #1 Global Financial Centre

London: Still the #1 Global Financial Centre

Chris Skinner

Chairman at Financial Services Club

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News.

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London: Still the #1 Global Financial Centre

28.03.2017 09:00 am

Today Z/Yen, a London-based research and consultancy firm, publishes the twenty-first Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 21) in collaboration with the China Development Institute (CDI). The GFCI rates 88 financial centres and finds the top ten are:

  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Singapore
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Tokyo
  6. San Francisco
  7. Chicago
  8. Sydney
  9. Boston
  10. Toronto

Updated every six months, the main headlines of this half year are:

Brexit and the US election have had a significant impact. London and New York fell 13 and 14 points respectively. These were the largest declines (except for Calgary) in the top 50 financial centres.

No change in the top five positions. Despite the ‘interesting times’ in which we live, London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo remain the top five financial centres.

The gap between third place Singapore and second place New York continues to close. Singapore rose by eight points and is now only 20 points behind New York having been 42 points behind in GFCI 20.

Western European financial centres are still volatile. Of the 29 GFCI centres in the region, 16 declined and 12 rose. Geneva recovered some of the ground it lost in GFCI 20. Ratings for Amsterdam, Vienna and Gibraltar fell significantly.

The leading financial centres in the Asia/Pacific region rose in the GFCI ratings. Beijing in particular rose significantly and in now within the top twenty centres worldwide.

Centres in the USA, with the exception of New York, rose in the index. Los Angeles moved up 20 points into the top 20 global centres. In Canada, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver all performed well in GFCI 21. Financial professionals continue to favour safety and stability in their choices of location.

Five of the top six Eastern European centres rose in the ratings. Istanbul was the exception to this pattern, falling 11 points. Istanbul is now in 66th place in the GFCI having been 45th a year ago. Continued conflict and political uncertainty affect confidence in the Turkish capital.

Financial centres in the Middle East and Africa did well in GFCI 21. Apart from a very small decline by Dubai, the other main centres improved in the ratings. There were strong rises for Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.

Latin American centres continue to struggle. Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Panama all fell significantly. Buenos Aires and Santiago remain associate centres having failed to accumulate a sufficient number of assessments to enter the main index.

Offshore centres had mixed results. The British Crown Dependencies remained stable, whilst Caribbean centres had mixed fortunes with the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands falling, but Bermuda and the Bahamas rising slightly.

Full details are available here.

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