Lon­don loses fi­nan­cial top spot to New York

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - Grace Ham­mond BUSI­NESS REPORTER @york­shire­post

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.

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