Which Cities Are the World's Financial Centers?

London is ranked as the top financial city.
London is ranked as the top financial city.

The top financial cities in the world are ranked by an institution known as The Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI). According to the most recent of these ratings, New York is the world's top financial center with a rating of 794. It is followed by London at 787, Hong Kong 783, Singapore 772, and Shanghai with 770. All the top five cities have an advanced system of payment for goods and services which make commerce and trade very convenient. Investors are assured of returns due to stable assets management policies. London and New York have interchangeably held the top position due to the high quality of mergers, investment opportunities and high credit rating of their stocks listed companies.

The Top Five Financial Cities

The growth of the economy in the Asian continent has given rise to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai.  Low taxation on manufacturers has made Asia a major producer and exporter of fast-moving goods as well as electronics and automobiles. Fund management and competitive stock share trading plus top-notch IPOs have attracted blue-chip investors. Shanghai, a Chinese financial city, has witnessed tremendous economic growth from the year 2000 with a growth rate of 10% for five consecutive years. The growth rate was mainly attributed to the mass production of various machinery, petroleum products, industrial chemicals, and metals. Singapore’s efficiency in commodity trade, insurance, capital markets, and availability of wealth management advisors have made it a global financial capital.

Other Highly Ranked Financial Capitals

At position six with 756 points is Tokyo, followed closely by Toronto with 755, and Zurich at 739. Toronto, a Canadian city, is a hub for commerce and industries, tourism, and education. Zurich is a financial and economic heavyweight in Switzerland due to its highly developed industries and large stock market exchange. Other important financial cities include Bejing and Frankfurt. Beijing, the capital of China as well as one of its largest cities, makes the major policy decisions in the country. Frankfurt is a major financial center in the European Union. 

How Is the Ranking Done?

The major indicators of a high performing city are economic prowess, financial strength, and the share trading index. Others are human resource expertise and availability of skilled professionals. Integrity of various institutions, international reputation, response to natural calamities and socio-cultural appeal are also weighted. Other parameters used are political stability and reliable information storage and dissemination process. The ease of conducting business in that city, including taxation policy, legal framework and Infrastructural availability are also put on the scale. To come up with the final ranking, a survey is conducted physically and online via a questionnaire. For a city to score highly, it should have a global competitive appeal.

Top 10 Financial Centers

RankCityGlobal Financial Centres Index (GFCI)
1 New York City794
2 London787
3 Hong Kong783
4 Singapore772
5 Shanghai770

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