London retains crown as world's top financial centre despite Brexit

London retains its dominant position as the world's leading financial centre in spite of Brexit jittersiStock

London remains the world's most attractive financial centre despite fears over Brexit, according to a survey.

However, a number of its European rivals have gained ground on the City as banks look to spread their bases across the continent, highlighted in a report by the Z/Yen global financial centres index.

The City again came top of the rankings ahead of New York, and Hong Kong based on a range of factors such as infrastructure, business environment, reputation and access to high quality staff.

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Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam – each set to gain banking jobs that will likely have to leave London – all rose.

Frankfurt has so far emerged as the biggest winner in the fight for London banking jobs after Brexit.

Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Standard Chartered, Nomura Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui are among those that have already picked the German hub as a base.

Frankfurt jumped to 11<sup>th from 23<sup>rd a year ago in the report's rankings, while Dublin moved up to 30<sup>th from 33<sup>rd over the same period.

However, rival European financial hubs; Zurich, Geneva, and Luxembourg fell in the ratings, which ranks 92 financial centres around the world.

US trade fears

The report observed: "Overall assessments for the European centres continued to fluctuate as people speculate about which centres might benefit from London leaving the European Union."

New York not only lost ground to London but the gap between it in second and Hong Kong in third, narrowed to its tightest in five years.

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The report speculated Wall Street's decline was due to "fears over US trade" under President Donald Trump.

The White House has already pulled the country out of the planned trans-Pacific trade agreement, since his administration assumed office in January.

In fact, ratings for all financial centres in North America dropped, with San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Washington seeing the steepest decline.

London financial sector lobby group TheCityUK warned against complacency and called for clarity on the UK government's transitional arrangements for leaving the EU in 2019.

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Chief executive Miles Celic said: "Many firms have already started to activate their contingency plans and others will undoubtedly follow suit if these aren't confirmed as soon as possible – and by the end of the year at the very latest."

The index has been released twice a year since 2007.

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