London Slips From Top Spot In Global Financial Centre Rankings, New York Now No 1 – Full List


12/9/2018/LongFinance / FA

The Z/YEN Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 24) released today found New York overtaking London to take the index top spot for first time since March 2015. 

Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said, 

“In a competitive world we cannot afford complacency. London and New York have long vied for the top spot of this index and the uncertainty around the future shape of Brexit is likely to be factor in their latest switch in positions.” 

“Most notable in this latest version of the GFCI is the continuing steady rise of the Asian centres. Hong Kong is now just three points behind London for the first time. Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo are close behind. Given the fall in a number of North American centres as well, it is Asia, not Europe, where the challenge to London and the UK will come from in the years ahead. 

“While a couple of the European centres might have had ‘Brexit bump’, there are now fewer European centres in the top 50 as a whole. Despite concerted efforts to attract business, Paris rose just one place to 23rd and cities such as Dublin, Munich, Copenhagen and Stockholm have actually lost ground to global competitors. 

“Ultimately these rankings are all about perception. The world is watching to see if the UK and the EU can overcome the political hurdles around Brexit and secure a deal that makes economic sense. It is vital that policymakers focus on this to ensure that Europe remains an attractive and competitive place to do business.” 


September 2018 sees publication of the twenty-fourth edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 24). GFCI 24 provides evaluations of future competitiveness and rankings for 100 major financial centres around the world. The GFCI serves as a valuable reference for policy and investment decision-makers.

China Development Institute (CDI) in Shenzhen and Z/Yen Partners in London collaborate in producing the GFCI. The GFCI is updated and published every March and September, and receives considerable attention from the global financial community.

110 financial centres were researched for GFCI 24 of which 100 are now in the main index. The GFCI is compiled using 137 instrumental factors. These quantitative measures are provided by third parties including the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD and the United Nations.

The instrumental factors are combined with financial centre assessments provided by respondents to the GFCI online questionnaire ( GFCI 24 uses 31,326 assessments from 2,453 respondents.

The Headlines Of GFCI 24 Include:

Not for the first time, New York took first place in the index, just two points head of London, although both centres fell slightly in the ratings. Hong Kong is now only three points (on a scale of 1,000) behind London. Shanghai overtook Tokyo to move into fifth place, gaining 25 points in the ratings. Beijing, Zurich, and Frankfurt moved into the top ten centres, replacing Toronto, Boston, and San Francisco.

In Western Europe, Zurich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Milan moved up the rankings significantly. These centres may be the main beneficiaries of the uncertainty caused by Brexit. Surprisingly, despite some evident success in attracting new business, Dublin, Munich, Hamburg, Copenhagen, and Stockholm fell in the rankings, reflecting respondents’ views of their future prospects.

In Asia/Pacific, the leading centres performed well, closing the gap on London and New York at the top of the rankings. There were steady increases for Shanghai, Sydney, Beijing, and Guangzhou and GIFT City (Gujarat) and Hangzhou entered the index for the first time.

The leading North American centres fell back in the rankings and ratings overall, although Los Angeles and Washington DC gained places.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, there were significant gains for Astana, Budapest, St Petersburg, and Tallinn. Astana only officially launched their financial centre in July, and it is unusual for such a new centre to perform so strongly.

In the Middle East and Africa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha all rose significantly reversing the trend from GFCI 23. Cape Town is the highest new entrant to the index, ranking 38th in its first entry.

In Latin America and the Caribbean there were mixed results. Bermuda, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro performed strongly, while other centres fell in the rankings. Island centres fell in the index, with the exception of Bermuda, which rose six places. The British Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man all fell significantly in the rankings, with the Isle of Man dropping 27 places.

The Publication

Authors: Mark Yeandle and Mike Wardle

Published by:  Z/Yen Group and the China Development Institute (September 2018), 55 pages.

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