New York Crowned World’s Top Financial Centre

New York has nudged ahead as the world’s number one financial centre, according to new research.

London was toppled from the top spot and sits in second place followed by Hong Kong and Singapore.

The rankings were compiled from looking at factors including business environment, financial progress, infrastructure, human capital and reputation of each financial centre.

Financial research firm Z/Yen Group undertakes the research every six months.

The ‘Big Four’ financial centres ar5e losing ground on their rivals. In the firm’s report 36 months’ ago, the gap between the leaders and the rest of the top 10 was a 117 point spread – but now that has shrunk to a 75 point spread.

The research also shows a shake-out in Asia as Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul and Shenzhen put more clear water between them and their weaker competitors like Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta and Mumbai.

The top 10 financial centres

Financial centres in the Middle East are gaining in reputation. Qatar leads the pack, slightly in front of Dubai, but Riyadh, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi all improved their rankings.

European financial centres are still suffering from the fall-out of the Eurozone crisis. Although London is still at the top, 23 of 27 financial centres dropped down the table.

Athens now props the table in 83rd position, lagging behind Reykjavik in second-last place.

Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Dublin, Madrid, Lisbon, and Rome all plunged down the rankings.

Offshore centres have suffered from a prolonged campaign from G20 governments and the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) that has seen tighter regulation and an assault on their integrity.

The top 10 financial centres are:

  • New York
  • London
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Zurich
  • Tokyo
  • Seoul
  • Boston
  • Geneva
  • San Francisco

Overall, 29 centres rose up the rankings, while 47 dropped placings and only four saw no change.

Fall from grace

Almaty, the former capital and largest city in Kazakhstan; Busan, South Korea’s second city and Casablanca, Morocco, all joined the rankings for the first time.

Buenos Aires was the biggest climber, leaping 21 places to 25th.

Rome collapsed the most places – 19 to 54th.

“London’s fall from grace may yet be significant,” says the report. “London needs to maintain a strong reputation in the financial world and to remain a place where money is available to borrow at low cost.

“Everyone needs to know the market is fair and can compete with the rest of the world. London’s problem is New York and Hong Kong have huge economies driving them. London needs to become more of a Singapore, a global city with a global economy or to grab more support from the European Union to compete with the backing of a domestic economy.

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