London Retains Global Financial Capital Spot Despite Brexit Worries

The UK capital expands its lead over New York, while continental EU cities gain ground.

London retains the title of top global financial center in this year’s Global Financial Centers Index survey by Z/Yen Partners and the China Development Institute (CDI).

The study includes major financial capitals all over the world and is updated every March and September.

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The UK capital has extended its lead over New York, undeterred by Brexit. That said, other European cities that are competing for businesses to establish continental subsidiaries are rising in prominence.

The main components on the Z/Yen GFCI are infrastructure, jobs, competitiveness, country risk classification and others. A total of 2014 factors that are published by outside parties are taken into account when calculating the metric.

Frankfurt and Dublin are among the EU cities that are climbing the ranks, with the German financial center moving up to the 11th spot from 23rd last year. Dublin ticked higher, to 30th spot from 33rd a year ago, while Paris is also rising.

Top 10 Global Financial Centers

The top 10 holds steady, with Singapore rounding off the top three, followed by the other two major Asian centers – Hong Kong and Tokyo. Earlier today, CFH Systems unveiled its Singapore office plans. The company is committing to a new expansion plan in Asia, following its acquisition by Playtech last year.

Global Financial Centers Index
Global Financial Centers Index 2017, Source: Z/Yen Partners

Back to the GFCI, Sydney and Toronto made it into the top 10 this year, surpassing Boston, Zurich and Washington DC. The US continues to have the most cities in the top 10 with New York now joined by San Francisco and Chicago.

Shanghai and Beijing are rapidly rising through the ranks and are well on their way to soon challenge for a top 10 spot.

Euro Clearing and Frankfurt

The home of the European Central Bank, Frankfurt, is speculated to be the most likely beneficiary of the switch of euro-currency clearing away from London. The European Banking Authority (EBA), which is currently located in the UK capital, is widely expected to relocate to Frankfurt in the aftermath of Brexit.

The almost €1 trillion industry of clearing euro-denominated trades is currently dominated by London. Over 70 percent of trading is done in the city, with Frankfurt and Paris being the main competition.

Prospective complications of leaving the clearing business in London are a substantial concern for the ECB. For example, if a Central Counterparty Clearing House (CCP) collapses in London, the European authority will have no means to resolve the situation in a manner which does not stress the financial system.

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