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  1. Wealth
March 21, 2011

London retains top spot as financial centre

By Spear's

In the biannual Global Financial Centres Index, London has retained the top spot, which it has held since the survey started in 2007

In the biannual Global Financial Centres Index, London has retained the top spot, which it has held since the survey started in 2007. It gained three points to reach 775, while New York again in second place lost one point to 769, as did Hong Kong, again in third, with 759. 75 cities were assessed.

London came top of most industry sub-sectors in the survey of 2,000 people from the financial services industry around the world: asset management, government and regulatory, professional services and wealth management/private banking. New York was top for banking and Hong Kong for insurance. London also came top of all the competitiveness factors: people, business environment, market access, infrastructure and general competitiveness.

Despite London’s continued success, Asian cities dominate the top 20, with eight – Seoul moved up eight places to 16, the biggest gainer (Warsaw moved eight to joint 59th). Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo were fourth and joint fifth. Zurich and Geneva were eighth and ninth, Frankfurt 14th and Paris 20th.

Offshore centres performed poorly globally: Jersey (23rd) and Guernsey (27th) were highest, but both had slipped a place, while Malta was joint 59th, losing 16 points, and Bahamas 67th, losing 12. The continued international pressure on these centres for greater transparency has affected their positions

In terms of the gap between how it was rated by respondents and how it was ultimately assessed in the GFCI, Shanghai was first, meaning its reputation is better than the quantative measures imply.

Nearly 2,000 people responded from all areas of the financial services industry, with one-third from banking but only 2.7 per cent from wealth management. The survey is sponsored by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and produced by Z/Yen Group.

Download the GFCI 9 report here

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