London and New York tie as top global financial centres according to new benchmarking research

New figures published by the City of London Corporation, show that, London and New York rank joint first as leading financial centres globally.

The report, Our Global Offer to Business: London and the UK’s Competitive Strengths in Support of Growth, benchmarks the performance of the world’s leading financial centres across 95 metrics.

London continued to perform strongly across all key dimensions, including innovation, reach of financial activity, resilience and business infrastructure, talent and skills, and regulation.

However, despite this strong performance this is the first year of the study that London is not the clear leader – with other financial centres growing faster.  London received an overall competitiveness score of 60, up from 59 in 2022, New York increased its score by 2 points to equal London with 60 points.  Singapore placed in third scoring 51, Frankfurt scored 46,  Paris scored 43 and Tokyo scored 35.

To ensure the UK financial and professional services sector remains internationally competitive over the next decade, the City of London Corporation recently launched, Finance for Growth, a joint initiative with support from financial leaders from Lloyd’s, Schroders, JP Morgan, EY, KPMG, Barclays, Glasswall and CIPL. The initiative will focus on four fundamental areas - tech and innovation, sustainable finance, competitive marketplace and international trade - and the group will deliver ambitious, actionable recommendations for the competitiveness of UK financial services in Q3 2023.

Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward, said:

“The UK remains one of the most open and global financial centres with better access to international markets than the US, France, or Japan. But our competitive advantage is at risk.

“A long-term plan to stimulate growth in the financial and professional services sector is needed. This is why we have launched, Finance For Growth, a new joint initiative with leading industry figures across the financial and professional services sector to put together a roadmap to reinforce and renew the UK’s role as a global financial centre.”

London and the UK continue to excel on the global stage in innovation and sustainability:

  • The UK continues to build on its long-standing strengths, as the world’s largest centre for international debt issuance, commercial (re)insurance, and foreign exchange trading, and the second largest asset management centre.
  • In 2022 the UK’s financial and professional services sector generated £64bn in trade surplus - the largest of any country globally
  • In 2022, fast-growing UK tech companies continued to raise investment at near-record levels (£24 billion), more than France (£11.8 billion) and Germany (£9.1 billion) combined.
  • UK listed companies have strong sustainability credentials, with the second highest average ESG score after Germany, and the highest number of signatories to science-based environmental targets.
  • There are 135 unicorns in the UK – startups valued at $1bn – more than France, Germany and Singapore, combined.

The report also identifies areas for development, including:

  • The number of international companies listed in London is falling and fewer international companies are choosing to list in London, despite changes to listing rules. The UK Government should continue to look at how defined contribution funds can be better utilised to support high-growth industries to start, stay and scale in the UK
  • Already rated as the world’s most favourable regulatory regime for financial services, ongoing improvements to the regulatory environment will make the UK an even more attractive place for finance and investment.
  • Ensuring London and the UK can continue to attract the world’s top talent – with over 40% of the City of London’s workforce coming from overseas. While identifying and addressing skills gaps through organisations such as the Financial Services Skills Commission.
  • Increasing UK Green bond issuance. Which despite being the highest on record in 2021 with $35bn of new issuance, still lags the US, France and Germany.