London retains international monetary crown in contemporary Brexit surge


London has retained its crown as the world’s leading financial and professional services destination in terms of overall offering in yet another boost for the city.

The Square Mile has outperformed other major financial centers including New York, Singapore and Paris as businesses quickly adapted to Brexit, according to a new report from the City of London Corporation.

The study examined each city’s global business offering, considering 95 metrics, including those in emerging areas such as green finance activities.

It noted that the city had “unmatched international financial reach,” while also excelling as a hub for technology and innovation, its share of Fortune Global 500 company headquarters rising by a third over the past year.

It also remained Europe’s leading destination for investment in financial services and was the world’s leading foreign exchange trading centre.

The city received an overall score of 61 for competitiveness, followed by New York at 58 and Singapore at 53. Paris received a score of just 41.

Earlier this week, a separate study by EY found that the majority of global financial firms plan to establish or expand operations in the UK this year.

However, the research also identified ways in which London can improve the UK’s competitiveness as a financial centre.

Noting that London lags behind Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan in terms of the skill levels of its workforce, it said the end of post-Brexit free movement had “damaged the perception of the UK as an attractive business environment for international talent”.

Despite positive results for the City, London has lost out to competing hubs in recent years when it comes to listing companies, while also losing a significant volume of equity trading activity.

Catherine McGuinness of the City of London Corporation said: “To remain competitive globally we need to future-proof the sector by improving digital capabilities and infrastructure. Our tax rates must remain globally competitive, and most importantly, we must remain open – and be seen to be open – to the best talent from around the world.”