Friday 24 September 2021 2:30 pm

Brexit-proof: City remains top dog in Europe for financial services

Innovation, an open business environment and a breadth of highly skilled talent has put the the City of London ahead of Europe’s financial services industry.

London ranks as the second best financial hub in the world, while its closest rival in the continent is Paris, which only finished tenth, according to the 30th edition of Z/Yen Group and the China Development Institute’s global financial centre index (GFCI).

London’s expertise, combined with its fast growing fintech sector and support for new techniques to deliver financial services has cemented the capital as one of the leading lights in the global finance industry.

The City was only beaten by New York, which has held the top spot for three years. The GFCI rates 116 financial centres across the world.

Professor Michael Mainelli, executive chairman at Z/Yen Group, said: “London scores highly across all the data series that we use to build the index.”

“It has great people, an open business environment, strong regulation, and a huge breadth of financial and associated services and expertise. 

“It remains innovative and supportive of new approaches, with a strong technology and Fintech sector.”

London rose two places on the GFCI’s fintech rankings, behind New York and Shanghai. Its investment management and professional services sectors rank second in the world.

The index comes as data release recently shows London is second only to Silicon Valley for the best place for startups to thrive.

The capital again left European cities in its wake in the rankings, with Paris, coming 12th, its closest rival on the continent. London tied with New York in second place to the Californian area synonymous with billion-dollar valuations.

A welcoming approach to business has strengthened the capital’s competitive edge, Mainelli said.

The GFCI showed concerns about trading activity flowing out of the capital and into the continent after Brexit may not materialise. Amsterdam, which has experienced an uptick in trading activity since the UK left the EU, came 15 places below London, while Frankfurt finished 14th. 

London has effectively weathered the Covid-19 crisis by adapting to radical changes in working practices quickly in the financial services industry, Z/Yen Group said.