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The rise of Chinese finance puts pressure on London and New York as top financial centres

12 September 2018

London and New York remain the top two financial centres in the world but Asian cities are hot on their heels, according to an authoritative ranking to be published today.

A major report from London-based think tank and consultancy Z/Yen will show the average ranking of financial centres in Asia and the Pacific region rose to 760 points, closing the gap with North America and Europe at 727 and 737 respectively.

The ranking of 110 financial centres worldwide, shown exclusively to City A.M., highlights the remarkable rise of Chinese centres in particular, with ratings for Shanghai and Shenzhen surging, and Beijing rising back to the top 10.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong is closing in on London, only three points behind the City’s rating of 786 points. New York scored 788 points.

City strength The City tops the global chart for its business environment, and dominates the global rankings for the banking and insurance industries.

The twice yearly rating is based on 137 factors, including the strength of institutions, quality of infrastructure, and the reputation of the financial centre using indicators from sources such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and Transparency International.

However, the report shows that London is a clear outlier among the top financial centres in terms of uncertainty around future prospects, as the continued lack of clarity on Brexit hangs over the Square Mile.

Catherine McGuinness, the City of London Corporation policy chairman who leads the finance sector’s lobbying efforts, said Brexit uncertainty is “biting into London’s international competitiveness”.

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