The Global Financial Centres Index is sponsored by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and is published twice a year by Z/Yen Group. The Index is a ranking of the 75 major financial centres worldwide, measuring their competitiveness. The research is based mainly on different financial centre assessments and online polls and questionnaires. It includes the assessments of institutions such as the Worlds Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The most important factors that determine the competitiveness of a financial institution include; people, business environment, infrastructure, market access and competitiveness as a whole, which on the other hand includes measures such as office rent, tax terms and other 62 factors that are taken into account when making the rankings.
Here are seven of the world’s most competitive financial centres according to the Global Financial Centres Index:
London is ranked on top of the list in terms of asset management, government regulation, insurance, professional services, people, business environment, market access, infrastructure and general competitiveness. Let’s not forget that London is home to the London Stock Exchange and there are situated more than half of the one hundred largest public companies in Great Britain.
2. New York
When people are told to think of a world financial centre, New York is one of the first ones they can point out. New York is home to the New York Stock Exchange and some financial giants, such as; Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, etc. All this makes New York stand out from the rest cities, despite the credit crisis and recession. As a matter of fact, New York is ranked first in banking, and second in competitiveness.
3. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is considered to be one of the world’s leading financial centres and is ranked third in the first half of this year’s ranking. After all, the fact that the city is home to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth-largest in the world is not to be underestimated, no matter the fact that the government chose to take a passive role in the financial industry, compared with the other developed economies. Hong Kong occupies fourth place in terms of government regulation and professional services.
Singapore is a republic that has a highly-developed market economy and is home to over 600 financial institutions, including 218 insurance companies and brokers, 162 banks and 118 companies managing funds according to the local Institute of Banking and Finance. Singapore is ranked fourth in the overall ranking, but it is ranked third in terms of government regulation and professional services.
In Zurich, there are localized some major international financial players, such as Credit Suisse and UBS. There is also the Swiss Stock Exchange, which is one reason why the city is considered one of Switzerland’s main economic and financial centres. It is ranked on some of the top positions in management assets, market access, business environment, insurance, and professional services.
One of the world’s most important financial centres – Tokyo – is a headquarter of some of the largest investment banks in the whole world, and also to some of the major insurance companies and nearly 10% of the companies included in the Global 500 ranking of the Fortune magazine. The city is also home to the largest stock exchange in the country – the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Tokyo holds one of the highest positions in infrastructure, government regulation, people, asset management, market access, and insurance.
The financial industry in Geneva is one of the oldest ones in the world. It is created in 1387 when the church gives the unique privilege of the townspeople to lend money on some interest. Nowadays, there are more than 130 banks. In addition, it is also believed that 40% of the assets of 2,9 trillion dollars managed in Switzerland are controlled directly or indirectly from Geneva. The city is also ranked one of the top places in terms of business, professional services and asset management.