London has moved ahead of New York to reclaim the number one position in a ranking of financial centres in 84 cities across the world. London climbed 12 points in the ratings to lead New York by eight points according to the latest survey which was launched in Shenzhen, China, on Wednesday. The International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Dublin has climbed six ranks from 52 in March to a ranking of 46th.

 

The GFCI 18 (Global Financial Centres Index) is on a scale of 1,000 points and a lead of eight is fairly insignificant. However, the assessments for London have been higher since the general election in May 2015. London, New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore remain the four leading global financial centres. New York, in second place is now 33 points ahead of Hong Kong in third. Tokyo, in fifth place, is 25 points behind the leaders.

“You can’t have an international financial centre without international people,” Prof Michael Mainelli, chairman of the think-tank Z/Yen which produced the report said. The British government plans to hold a referendum on EU membership either in 2016 or in 2017, and high immigration is cited as a big public concern in opinion surveys.

Chris Cummings, head of TheCityUK, the lobby group, said: "London is Europe's financial centre. This is one of the factors that attracts businesses from around the world to set up base here — it is their gateway to the EU. Evidence shows that for the industry, remaining part of the EU is critical, but reform is essential."

Western European centres show signs of recovery. The leading centres in Europe are London, Zurich and Geneva as in GFCI 17 and Frankfurt has moved up into fourth place just ahead of Luxembourg. Of the 29 centres in this region, 23 centres rose in the ratings with Dublin doing particularly well. Liechtenstein appears in the GFCI for the first time and is ranked 60th. Reykjavik continues to reverse some of its recent decline.

Eastern European and Central Asian centres prosper. The leading centre in this region is now Warsaw in 38th place, just ahead of Istanbul. The top seven centres all saw an increase in their ratings but the largest decline in this region was St Petersburg.

Twelve of the top 15 Asia/Pacific centres see a rise in their ratings. With the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore, the top Asia/Pacific financial centres have all seen their ratings increase in GFCI 18. Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul remain in the GFCI Top 10.

All North American centres are up in the ratings. However, due to continuing rise of some Asian centres, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Vancouver and Calgary and suffered small declines in the ranks. Toronto remains the leading Canadian centre and is now the second North American centre behind only New York.

Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro rise strongly. Sao Paulo remains the top Latin American centre in GFCI 18, and along with Rio de Janeiro, made significant progress n the ratings and rankings. Mexico was the only centre that fell in the GFCI ratings. The Cayman Islands and the Bahamas also showed good improvements.

Mark Yeandle, associate director at the Z/Yen Group and the author of the GFCI said: "Whilst London and New York still lead the field, the next four centres are all Asian. We are launching GFCI 18 in China to mark the success of the Chinese centres in becoming more competitive."

Dublin financial services centreIn last March's survey Dublin's IFSC rose 18 places to 52nd. This reverses some significant falls over past years. Prior to 2010, Dublin was always within the top 30 GFCI centres and in 2008 it was within the top 20 centres.

Prof Mainelli in a comment to the Financial Times on Wednesday highlighted Dublin, which had “a hard time pulling away from the crisis.” “There’s a lot of confidence that Dublin is out there to grab business in wholesale financial markets,” he said.

The IFSC was ranked at 15 in March 2007, 13 in September 2008, and 23 in September 2009.

GFCI 18 uses 28,676 financial centre assessments completed by 3,194 financial services professionals. Since 2007, well over 120,000 assessments from over 9,500 respondents have built the index. GFCI is updated regularly and ratings change as assessments an