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New York officially loses its title of leading financial centre to London

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The rankings, known as the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), looked at 98 financial centres across the world, whereby New York held the coveted top spot for the last two years.

The capital topped every single category in the index, with the best business environment, the most developed financial centre, the most impressive infrastructure, the best human capital and the top overall reputation.

Michael Mainelli, chairman of Z/Yen, attributed London’s increasing success to reduced uncertainty following the general election. The rejection of independence by Scottish voters was also a positive, with foreigners assessing the stability of Britain as a place to do business.

The depth and breadth of business activity also helped, with the strength of the professional services and insurance industries, alongside banking, giving London a boost in the rankings.

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One major area of concern was attitudes towards immigration, which “hasn’t got better, hasn’t got worse”, but which has become a concern across all EU countries, not just Britain.

“You can’t have an international financial centre without international people,” said Mainelli. High immigration was cited as one of the public’s most pressing concerns.

Lobby group TheCityUK said the ranking highlighted that “to keep on top Britain needed to be flexible and adapt”.

New York became the second best financial centre, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the biggest climber in the top ten was Toronto, which moved up three spaces to be ranked eight in the table. But the fastest mover in the top 20 was Dubai, which rocketed up seven spaces to claim the 16th slot globally.

Mainelli highlighted that there was a lot of confidence that Dublin – which leapt into the 46th spot – “is out there to grab business in wholesale financial markets.” He also said there was a view that the city would benefit if Britain voted to leave the EU.

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