The financial center Frankfurt has moved past Paris in the global ranking of the Z/Yen Group. According to the London-based consultancy, the City of the Euro rose from 17th to 14th place in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI). Paris, on the other hand, slipped from 14th to 15th place.
Frankfurt, Germany’s financial center, was among the 15 centers that survey participants expect to gain in importance. In the separate fintech ranking, Mainhattan improved from 23rd to 16th.
Hamburg and Munich slip
The performance of Germany’s other financial centers was mixed. Berlin improved from 26th to 23rd place, while Hamburg dropped from 43rd to 49th. Munich slipped from 18 to 26. Stuttgart improved from 47 to 46. Geneva (10th) is now another continental European financial center in the top 10. “Switzerland has a real advantage in terms of regulatory environment and low levels of corruption,” a Zurich banker is quoted as saying in the survey analysis.
London improves by points
New York has held the top spot since September 2018, followed by London and Singapore. Both the British metropolis and the Southeast Asian city-state improved their ratings by points, working their way closer to the home of Wall Street. However, New York is still 19 points ahead of London.
People on the Thames will be pleased to know that the bad press following the defeat in the competition for the IPO of chip designer Arm does not seem to have influenced the perception of the survey participants. However, Singapore has moved to within two points. Hong Kong is just three points away at No. 4. Five of the top 10 are in the United States: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Chicago. This reflects, among other things, the strength of the U.S. economy.
Every six months, the GFCI rankings are updated. Now Task 34 is available. Since the summer of 2016, the British think tank has been working with the Shenzhen-based China Development Institute.
“Confidence has remained strong in the international financial centers,” said Michael Mainelli, chairman of Z/Yen. “Nearly all of the centers we track improved their GFCI 34 rating.” On average, the rating of the 121 centers improved by 3.5%.
The development of knowledge and skills is of critical importance for global trading centers, he said. In this context, there are increasingly new requirements in the areas of artificial intelligence and ethics, he said.
Business environment, human capital and infrastructure matter most
Ongoing professional development, combined with a tertiary education sector, is an important strategy to ensure the financial industry’s workforce is fit for the future, he said.
The survey also asks which issues are considered most important for competitiveness. This time, business environment, human capital and infrastructure were cited the most. “Proximity and access to a diverse range of customers and suppliers are key determinants of a financial center’s competitiveness,” an executive at a Seoul-based fintech firm was quoted as saying. “Financial institutions thrive in environments where they can easily connect with a broad customer base, domestically and internationally.”