London loses financial top spot to New York
New York has overtaken London as the world’s most attractive financial centre as Britain’s decision to leave the EU prompts banks to shift jobs out of the city to keep access to Europe’s single market, according to a new survey.
Brexit poses the biggest challenge to the City of London’s finance industry since the 2007-2009 global crisis, since it might mean banks and insurers lose access to the EU, the world’s biggest trading bloc.
New York took first place, followed by London, Hong Kong and Singapore in the Z/Yen global financial centres index, which ranks 100 centres on factors such as infrastructure and access to quality staff.
London’s score fell by eight points from six months ago, the biggest decline among the top contenders. The survey’s authors said this reflected the uncertainty around Britain’s EU departure next year.
Mark Yeandle, inset, co-creator of the index, said: “We are getting closer to exit day and we still don’t know whether London will be able to trade with all the other European financial centres. The fear of losing business to other centres is driving the slight decline and people are concerned about London’s competitiveness.”
Since Britain voted in 2016 to leave the EU, some of the world’s most powerful finance companies have begun moving staff from London to countries that will remain in the bloc to preserve the existing cross-border flow of trading. Financial services firms account for about 12 per cent of Britain’s economic output.