London remains the leading hub, offering a still unbeatable combination of size and international appeal. It continues to attract, as well as generate, the largest number of foreign direct investment projects in financial services: 232 and 532, respectively, for the four years to the end of 2016. It hosts the biggest outstanding volumes of international debt securities, based on the issuer’s country of residence ($2964bn) and a healthy 18.83% ratio of foreign listings of the total floating on its stock market.
Furthermore, the city’s financial services cluster is expanding, with 1208 new firms launching operations in London between June 2016 and early May 2017, according to data provider Dun and Bradstreet, bringing the total to 49,185.
New York in profit
In second place, New York continues to impress for the size of its capital markets and the profitability of its banks. Its largest banks – the 11 large enough to be included inThe Banker’s 2017 Top 1000 World Banks ranking – closed 2016 with pre-tax profits of $88.68bn, a figure more than four times that of London. While only nine lenders were included in the banking analysis of the UK hub (the number of London-based Top 1000 banks), their total assets were only marginally smaller than New York’s, making the profitability comparison all the more relevant.
Singapore also performed well and improved its ranking, overtaking Hong Kong to come in in third place. Among the city-state’s distinctive attributes are a high-quality regulatory environment – the best of all IFCs, according to the World Bank, which considers financial and investment freedoms among many other indicators in its assessment. An overall good environment for businesses continues to attract solid numbers of FDI.
Dubai in Top 10
Dubai has been ranked 10th in The Banker magazine’s annual International Financial Centre (IFC) rankings, placing it alongside hubs such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Since its establishment in 2004, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has become the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. In the first six months of 2017, the Centre grew by 6.2% to 1,750 incorporated companies. This followed 14% growth over the course of 2016.
DIFC offers all the elements found in the world’s most successful financial industry ecosystems, including an independent regulator, an independent judicial system with an English common-law framework, a global financial exchange, inspiring architecture, powerful, enabling support services and a vibrant business community. DIFC is constantly looking to lead innovation, which led the recent launch of FinTech Hive at DIFC. FinTech Hive is a first-of-its-kind accelerator in the region, which brings cutting-edge financial services technology to the broader MEASA.
The Banker, part of the Financial Times Group, published its annual survey on the leading IFCs on 1 September 2017. The ranking focuses on the level of international business and the value offered to institutions seeking to expand their international operations. It is based on data ranging from financial markets indicators to economic potential to business environment factors.
The Banker’s ranking of IFCs is based on data ranging from financial markets indicators to economic potential to business environment factors. A total of 82 indicators have been used in our analysis. The ranking focuses on the level of international business and the value offered to institutions seeking to expand their international operations. In recognition of the fact that data for specialised financial centres is seldom consistent with that for mainland financial centres, The Banker has surveyed each specialised IFC and has compiled a separate table using information relevant to these locations. Publicly available data sources were used as well as The Banker Database and fDi Markets.