Brexit and the USA Election take their toll

27 March 2017

Today Z/Yen publishes the twenty-first Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 21). We are holding simultaneous launches in Milan and Shenzhen. Z/Yen are delighted to be working in collaboration with the China Development Institute (CDI). The GFCI rates 88 financial centres. The top ten are shown to the right. Full details are available here. The main headlines are shown below.

Brexit and the US election have had a significant impact. London and New York fell 13 and 14 points respectively. These were the largest declines (except for Calgary) in the top 50 financial centres.

No change in the top five positions. Despite the ‘interesting times’ in which we live, London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo remain the top five financial centres.

The gap between third place Singapore and second place New York continues to close. Singapore rose by eight points and is now only 20 points behind New York having been 42 points behind in GFCI 20.

Western European financial centres are still volatile. Of the 29 GFCI centres in the region, 16 declined and 12 rose. Geneva recovered some of the ground it lost in GFCI 20. Ratings for Amsterdam, Vienna and Gibraltar fell significantly.

The leading financial centres in the Asia/Pacific region rose in the GFCI ratings. Beijing in particular rose significantly and in now within the top twenty centres worldwide.

Centres in the USA, with the exception of New York, rose in the index. Los Angeles moved up 20 points into the top 20 global centres. In Canada, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver all performed well in GFCI 21. Financial professionals continue to favour safety and stability in their choices of location.

Five of the top six Eastern Europeancentres rose in the ratings. Istanbul was the exception to this pattern, falling 11 points. Istanbul is now in 66th place in the GFCI having been 45th a year ago. Continued conflict and political uncertainty affect confidence in the Turkish capital.

Financial centres in the Middle East and Africa did well in GFCI 21. Apart from a very small decline by Dubai, the other main centres improved in the ratings. There were strong rises for Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.

Latin American centres continue to struggle. Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Panama all fell significantly. Buenos Aires and Santiago remain associate centres having failed to accumulate a sufficient number of assessments to enter the main index.

Offshore centres had mixed results. The British Crown Dependencies remained stable, whilst Caribbean centres had mixed fortunes with the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands falling, but Bermuda and the Bahamas rising slightly.

Mark Yeandle, Associate Director at the Z/Yen Group and the author of the GFCI, said "We live in uncertain times and financial professionals hate uncertainty. Brexit has caused uncertainty in Europe and the election of Donald Trump has caused uncertainty globally.”

Professor Fan Gang, President of the CDI, said "The gradual phasing-out of easing monetary policies in Western countries may have significant impacts on the structure of global financial markets, we need to monitor this closely.”

GFCI 21 Top Ten Centres





New York






Hong Kong






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Participate in GFCI 22 by rating the financial centres you know here GFCI questionnaire


GFCI 21 uses 24,068 financial centre assessments collected from 3,009 financial services professionals who responded to the GFCI online questionnaire. Since 2007 well over 145,000 assessments from over 14,000 respondents have been used to build the index. GFCI is updated regularly and ratings change as assessments and instrumental factors change.

GFCI is part of the Long Finance initiative. If you want to get more involved, join the Long Finance online community to contribute your ideas and to connect with like-minded members in the network.

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