Lon­don still the top fi­nan­cial cen­tre as it ex­tends its lead

Yorkshire Post - Business - - CAPITAL MARKETS -

LON­DON RE­MAINS the globe’s most at­trac­tive fi­nan­cial cen­tre, ex­tend­ing its lead over New York de­spite Bri­tain’s loom­ing de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey that ranks the world’s top fi­nan­cial cen­tres.

Bri­tain’s de­par­ture from the trad­ing bloc has led to some politi­cians and econ­o­mists pre­dict­ing Lon­don will lose its pre-em­i­nent sta­tus as a fi­nan­cial cen­tre, but there are few signs of that hap­pen­ing yet.

Lon­don was placed first, fol­lowed by New York, Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore in the Z/Yen global fi­nan­cial cen­tres in­dex (GFCI), which ranks 92 fi­nan­cial cen­tres on fac­tors such as in­fra­struc­ture and ac­cess to high qual­ity staff.

New York was 24 points be­hind the Bri­tish cap­i­tal, the big­gest gap be­tween the two since the sur­vey started in 2007.

New York’s rank­ing fell 24 points from last year, the largest fall among the top con­tenders, a dip the sur­vey’s au­thors said was “pre­sum­ably due to fears over US trade”.

Since be­com­ing US Pres­i­dent in Jan­uary, Don­ald Trump has pulled out of a planned trans-Pa­cific trade agree­ment and is pur­su­ing a more iso­la­tion­ist eco­nomic pol­icy.

Bri­tain’s most pow­er­ful fi­nan­cial lobby group, TheCi­tyUK, cau­tioned against com­pla­cency and called for clar­ity on its tran­si­tional ar­range­ments for leav­ing the EU, which will ap­ply be­yond April 2019, when Bri­tain is due to for­mally leave.

Miles Celic, chief ex­ec­u­tive of TheCi­tyUK, said: “Ab­sent this, many firms have al­ready started to ac­ti­vate their con­tin­gency plans and oth­ers will un­doubt­edly fol­low suit if these aren’t con­firmed as soon as pos­si­ble - and by the end of this year at the very lat­est.”

Since the sur­vey was con­ducted in June, talks be­tween Bri­tain’s Brexit min­is­ter David Davis and his op­po­site num­ber at the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Michel Barnier, have be­come in­creas­ingly ac­ri­mo­nious.

The past two months have also seen a pick-up in the num­ber of banks say­ing they plan to set up new EU sub­sidiaries af­ter Brexit, with most ma­jor US, Bri­tish and Ja­panese banks say­ing they will es­tab­lish units in Frank­furt or Dublin.

Frank­furt has moved up to 11th in the ta­ble from 23rd a year ago and Dublin has moved to 30th from 33rd.

MILES CELIC: ‘Many firms have al­ready started to ac­ti­vate their con­tin­gency plans.’

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