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Sep 23, 2015

London passes New York to become world’s top financial center

Hong Kong gains points in Z/Yen Group ranking, leaving it 33 points behind second-placed New York 

London has surpassed New York to become the world’s top financial center, according to Z/Yen Group’s Global Financial Centers Index.

The ranking of 86 cities gives London an extra 12 points this year, leaving it with eight points more than New York in the 1,000-point index, after a decisive general election in May ended predictions of political stalemate in the UK.

‘London and New York are often as much complementary as competitive,’ Z/Yen Group says in its latest report, adding that it counts a difference of 20 points or less as relative parity. ‘It is noticeable that assessments for London have been higher since the general election of May 2015.’

London shows gains in three of five areas considered in the rankings this year, including business environment, human capital and reputation. New York meanwhile, slips a point in the same three areas. The assessment of both financial centers is unchanged in terms of infrastructure and financial center development.

Hong Kong gains three points in this year’s ranking, leaving it in third spot and only 33 points behind New York, Z/Yen Group says. Singapore comes fourth, followed by Tokyo, Seoul, Zurich, Toronto, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

Z/Yen Group says this year’s index shows the traditional lead of financial centers in western Europe and North America over centers in Asia and emerging markets has been slipping. When asked which centers are most likely to become more significant in the next few years, the most common answer from respondents is Singapore, followed by Shanghai, Casablanca, Busan, Hong Kong, Gibraltar and Dalian.

In Asia-Pacific, 12 of the top 15 financial centers have seen their ratings climb, with the biggest gain made by Osaka: it climbs 31 points to sixth place in the region, leaving it just behind Sydney. São Paulo remains the leading financial center in Latin America, followed by the Cayman Islands.