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GFCI index

Swiss financial centres slip in global ranking

Geneva has dropped eight places in a ranking of financial centres and Zurich has slipped three positions but remains the second leading centre in Europe after London.

London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo remain the five leading global financial centres, according to the Global Financial Services Index (GFCI), published on Monday by the Z/Yen Group in London and the China Development Institute in Shenzhen.

Geneva, however, fell eight places to 23rd in the survey, which is completed by financial services professionals worldwide. In Western Europe, it is fifth behind London, Zurich, Luxembourg and Frankfurt. Zurich fell from sixth to ninth position.

The authors said Western Europe remained a region in flux, especially after the British vote to leave the European Union in June.

“Early indications following the Brexit referendum result are that decision-makers are looking around and considering Luxembourg and Dublin as potential locations if they need to leave the UK. Wealth management in Geneva may be suffering from increased transparency requirements of international regulators,” they wrote.

London retained its place at the top of the GFCI ranking but there are signs that it may be under threat as businesses consider the consequences of the Brexit vote and their future in London.

Chinese focus

The survey authors also highlighted the rapid rise in importance of the financial centres on the Chinese mainland as the power of global financial markets shifts from North America and Europe to Asia. Five Chinese cities are included in the GFCI top 50, with Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing ranked as the top three Chinese centres on the mainland.

The annual ranking evaluates financial centres based on business environment, financial sector, development, infrastructure, human capital and reputational aspects.

It is compiled using an online survey of 3,200 financial professionals and data sets, including cost of living and office space, quality of internet and transport infrastructure and measures of corruption and political stability. Other factors include quality of life, murder rates, inflation, foreign investment, value of bond and share trading and tax rates.

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