West battles East for global financial superiority

The latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) has revealed that London remains the number one financial centre in the world, although competition from the East is growing more fiercely than ever before.

Familiar faces once again appeared at the top of this year’s financial centres index compiled by Z/Yen Group and sponsored by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority, with London leading the march followed by New York in the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore. The latter two financial centres now sit only two points apart, with a three point gap to Zurich, which sits in fifth place. Geneva also represents Switzerland in the top ten, landing in seventh position behind Tokyo, and ahead of Boston (US), Seoul in South Korea and Germany’s leading financial district Frankfurt.

Several financial centres on the list dropped on the back of downturns in their respective regions, with cities affected by the Eurozone crisis particularly impacted. Lisbon in Portugal, Reykjavik in Iceland, Budapest in Hungary and Athens in Greece have all declined this year, and remain bottom of the GFCI rankings. Conversely, all Asian financial centres except Beijing in China have seen their ratings improved, with Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Singapore and Tokyo in Japan experiencing the strongest rise in the region.

Asia

The rise of the East was clear to see in this year’s ratings, with all financial centres but Beijing experiencing an improvement in their ratings. Singapore remains in fourth place behind Hong Kong in third, followed by Tokyo and Seoul, which both saw a significant increase in their ratings.

Offshore

Global offshore centres continued to gain ground in this year’s report, with Jersey and Guernsey remaining the leading financial centres followed by Monaco which moved up 25 places to 35th. Jersey is placed 28th in the competitive rankings, with Guernsey sitting in 31st place followed by Monaco, the Cayman Islands in 41st and the Isle of Man in 43rd place.

Americas

American centres performed particularly well this time around, with Chicago, Toronto in Canada and San Francisco the few cities to drop in the ranks. Boston has entered the top ten, climbing to eighth position, and Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil are now included in the top 50 segment, with Argentina’s Buenos Aires also making significant ground.

 
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