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New York beats London as top finance centre, again

New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore remain the four leading global financial centres, according to researchers.

The latest Global Financial Centers Index shows that New York continues to be the leading global financial centre, but only beat second-place London by one point on the 1,000 point scale. Both cities moved up seven points compared to last year.

The US financial capital tops in three main categories: business environment, human capital and reputational.

Responses from 3,527 financial services professionals were collected in the 24 months to December 2014. The research used the measure of diversity, connectivity and speciality to assess a financial centre’s profile.

Tokyo, in fifth place, lags in terms of competitiveness, ranking 32 points behind the leaders.

“Tokyo seems to be slowly regaining its reputation but it will take a while to catch up with Hong Kong and Singapore,” said a London-based investment banker in the report.  

For the first time New York and London are favoured by nearly all sizes of organisations, although Hong Kong is favoured slightly higher than London among companies with 100 to 500 employees. Tokyo is well behind the other four in most size bands, the report finds.

However, of the top four financial centres in the GFCI, only London is outside the top ten for reputational advantage.

This year saw no movement in the top five European centres compared to last year, with London, Zurich, Geneva, Luxembourg and Frankfurt being in the same rank order. However, this year Dublin saw the largest increase in ratings, up 18 places to 52.

Prior to 2010, Dublin was always within the top 30 GFCI centres and in 2008 it made the top 20 centres, the report shows. 

Eastern European and Central Asian centres also declined. Istanbul, Almaty, Prague and Warsaw all saw their ratings decline. Uncertainty in Ukraine has ’undoubtedly’ cast a shadow over this region, the report highlights.

A number of centres have also moved profile including Boston, now an established “trans-national centre”, and Amsterdam which became a “global diversified centre”.

In Asia/Pacific, 11 of the top 12 centres also saw a rise in their ratings and rankings. Busan had the largest rise, followed by Shenzhen and Taipei. The Chinese centres all rose and Dalian, a new entry to the index, took 51st place.



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