London hung onto its second place ranking in the Global Financial Centres Index 26, launched by Z/Yen Group in partnership with the China Development Institute (CDI) in both London and Shenzhen. The index also showed how trade wars, geopolitical unrest, and Brexit are introducing significant adjustments to medium-term perceptions.
New York extended its lead over London to 17 points. Strong performances from other centres, in particular Paris, put London’s second place in the index at risk next time. If London and Paris have similar falls and rises in the ratings for GFCI 27, London would be reduced to a two point lead over Paris and lie behind Shanghai. This has taken Hong Kong to lack only two points behind London. Singapore and Shanghai remain in fourth and fifth position. All five top centres fell in the ratings in GFCI 26.
In the top centres category, Shenzhen, Dubai, and Sydney entered the top 10, easing out Toronto, Zurich, and Frankfurt. Within the top 30 centres, Paris has performed well, rising 10 places to 17th.
In Western Europe, following a good performance in GFCI 25, the region had a more mixed performance in GFCI 26, with 15 centres rising in the rankings and 13 falling.
Likewise, the Asia/Pacific region has performed well, with 20 of the 27 centres in the region either retaining or improving their position in the rankings. In fact, Nanjing entered the index for the first time. There were also significant rises for Wellington, Mumbai, and Chengdu.
North American centres had mixed fortunes in GFCI 26, with Canadian centres dropping back following their improved performance in GFCI 25, while US centres generally improved their rankings and ratings. Seven out of the ten North American centres in the index are in the top 20.
Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) retained its top ranking in the Eastern Europe & Central Asia region, consolidating its position despite being a recently-formed financial centre. All but two of the 16 centres in the region improved their rating, with nine centres improving their overall ranking.
The Middle East and Africa centres performed relatively well this time, with Dubai, Casablanca, Tel Aviv, and Doha continued to rise in the index, with Dubai entering the top ten in the world. There were significant improvements for Mauritius, Bahrain, and Nairobi.
There was also a good performance from the Latin American centres, with the Bahamas and Buenos Aries performing well in GFCI 26, rising 11 and ten places in the rankings respectively.
The British Crown Dependencies’ performance dipped, with the Isle of Man down five places in the rankings, Jersey falling 12, and Guernsey continuing its rapid decline in the index, dropping 17 places following its 15-place fall in GFCI 25.
Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman of Z/Yen, said: “Competition at the top of the GFCI is intensifying. London is in a ‘slipping second’ position globally and a ‘slipping first’ in Europe amidst high volatility emanating from policy uncertainties, Brexit, trade wars, and geopolitical unrest. Asian centres and a resurging Paris are fighting for that second place spot.”
The new FinTech index, published for the first time alongside the GFCI, is dominated by Chinese centres taking five of the top seven places in the index, led by Beijing and Shanghai. New York, London, Singapore, San Francisco, and Chicago also feature in the top ten for FinTech.