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The rise of London: the financial heart of the world

The latest annual report on global financial centers has revealed a surprise that’s capturing the attention of homemakers worldwide: London is gaining ground in the race for the title of the world’s leading financial center, challenging New York’s supremacy.

In recent years, the British capital has witnessed a resurgence in financial success, narrowing the gap that separated it from New York since 2018. This has intensified the competition between the two cities.

The report, known as the Global Financial Centres Index, was published by the think-tank Z/Yen and the China Development Institute. It highlights how London is now successfully competing with other rapidly growing Asian markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong in solidifying its position.

While in the United States, San Francisco has secured a place among the top five global financial centers, underscoring American dominance in this sector, European cities that once aspired to surpass London, such as Frankfurt and Paris, have found themselves in 14th and 15th place, respectively.

One European exception is Geneva, in Switzerland, which, like London, is not part of the European Union and is the only other European city in the top ten.

This rivalry between the two cities demonstrates that Brexit has not weakened London as a financial center but has, in fact, bolstered confidence in its future position. This is a particularly positive signal in light of recent foreign acquisitions and decisions by British companies, such as chip designer Arm, to list on the New York Stock Exchange instead of in London.

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David Schwimmer, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group, has dismissed concerns about London’s financial status as exaggerated, stating that criticism of the London financial center has become mere clickbait.

In response to the latest rankings, David Buik, a consultant for Aquis Exchange, expressed no surprise at London’s second-place position, just behind New York. He emphasized London’s unique role as a global financial center, hosting the world’s best legal and accounting professionals.

Buik also noted that despite a lackluster year for initial public offerings (IPOs) due to a shortage of deals, London excels in foreign exchange and derivatives trading, outperforming most other global financial centers.

Despite the challenges, London’s primary competition comes from New York and the Far East, while European financial centers struggle to pose a significant threat.

This report confirms that London remains at the center of the financial world and that its prestigious position is more solid than ever, promising a bright future for the British financial sector.


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