As the gap with second placed New York City (NYC) widens, London has held onto top spot in the latest ranking of global financial centers according to the most recent iteration of the semi-annual report released on Monday.
Compared to the previous report, London’s tally has only lost two points despite the looming threat of Brexit and concerns over employees who are driven out by either regulatory stipulations or concerns over changes that may detract from the city’s appeal and fears that the city will cede a significant amount of financial companies and employees.
On the other hand, there has been a loss of 24 points since March in North American regional leader NYC amidst an overall fall in North American cities. A much larger hit over the survey period have been delivered to other North American cities including San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Vancouver. Fears over U.S. trade as the possible key reason has been pointed out by the report’s authors to the fall in North American cities losing points.
In addition to qualitative study, the research also considers 102 quantitative factors to make the assessment. Business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development and reputation were among the five key categories which formed the concept of competitiveness which was the central theme of consideration and criteria for the study.
While the scores for the traditional finance hubs, including Geneva, Zurich and Luxembourg, fell, there was boost for cities and business centers like Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam – all cities seen as key potential beneficiaries of Brexit as Western Europe returned a mixed bag of results in the survey.
Led by Singapore and Tokyo which lost the most points, Asia-Pacific whose six cities in the top ten list fell across the board, was another area seeing a broad-based fall. With Hong Kong managing to sneak ahead of Singapore to capture third place, its two highest ranked cities continued their tussle for regional dominance. However, on a scale that runs to 1,000, Hong Kong was ahead by a margin of only a meagre two points.
A reversal of the robust gains made during 2015 and 2016 is signified by the poor showing from the region. Respondents were asked to identify which centers are likely to become more significant in the years ahead through a questionnaire carried out as a part of the research process which was a brighter note of the survey. Securing the top three posts were Shanghai, Qingdao and Singapore and these cities were part of six of the top nine cities that were selected are in Asia Pacific.
As 23 of the top 25 cities relinquished points while 20 of the lowest ranked cities gained points, convergence was a key theme of the list of 108 centers considered.
Compiled using a combination of both qualitative survey results and quantitative factors, this was the 22nd edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI). Bodies including The Economist Intelligence Unit, the World Bank, the OECD and the United Nations provided the aspects of the methodology.
(Adapted from CNBC)