The list of the top global financial from Z/Yen in London shows a continued shift to the Asia and some sharp movement, perhaps Brexit-related, to among some of the British off-shore centers. Released twice a year since 2007, the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) has since 2016 been a collaboration between Z/Yen, a London think tank, and the China Development Institute, a national think tank focused on public policy.
The Index started with a focus on four leading financial centers — London, New York, Paris and Frankfurt, recalled Michael Mainelli, executive chairman of the Z/Yen Group XX. It now includes 100 financial centers.
“When 60% of an index moves from Western centres to Asian centres in a decade, it is a time for reflection,” wrote Mainelli.”Some of the shifts have been geopolitical, ranging from the increasing economic importance of China, to global conflicts, sanctions, trade flows, financial crises, and demography. Other shifts have been deliberate and intentional policies directed at increasing the attractiveness of specific financial centres for relocation and inward investment.”
London and New York jostle for first place, as they have for year, with New York on top this time. Both fell slightly in the ratings and Hong Kong is only three points behind London and Shanghai overtook Tokyo to move into fifth place while Beijing, Zurich and Frankfurt moved into the top ten, replacing Toronto, Boston and San Francisco. It is likely that an Asian center will have the top slot very soon, Mainelli added.
Some smaller Chinese cities are rising in importance — Hangzhou was added to the list with this report. An investment banker based in New York commented “We all know about Hong Kong and Shanghai but a number of secondary Chinese centres are appearing on the radar now.”