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London reclaims place as preeminent global financial centre for the first time since 2013, according to Global Regulatory Outlook report from Duff & Phelps

  • 53% of senior professionals in financial services view London as the world’s main centre for finance
  • However, New York predicted to overtake London within the next five years
  • Dubai and Mumbai seen as emerging global finance hubs 

With less than a year to go until Brexit, the sixth annual Global Regulatory Outlook report has found that London is viewed as the global centre for finance for the first time since 2013. It is also the first time in five years that New York has not held the position, according to the report’s authors, Duff & Phelps, the premier valuation and corporate finance advisor with expertise in complex valuation, disputes and investigations, M&A, real estate, restructuring, and compliance and regulatory consulting.

Global Regulatory Outlook, which surveys senior professionals in financial institutions across the world, found that over half (53%) currently see London as the preeminent global hub, ahead of New York on 42%.  This marks an improvement in attitudes towards the status of London since last year, where only 36% saw it as the world’s finance capital, compared to 50% in favour of New York.

Julian Korek, Global Head of Regulatory and Compliance Consulting at Duff & Phelps, said:

“It’s refreshing to see that attitudes towards London’s global status have improved in the past 12 months. In previous years, London has lagged behind New York.  For this to have been dramatically reversed with just a year to go until Brexit shows a growing confidence among financial services business leaders that London is still the number one place to do business.”

However, the research also revealed that London will need to work hard to remain at the top. Just 29% of finance professionals surveyed think London will retain its pole position in the next few years, with 52% predicting New York will regain the top spot by 2023.

Korek continued:

“There is still a lot of hard work ahead for the City if it wants to retain the top position in a post-Brexit climate. When it comes to shaping London’s future outside of the EU, decisions taken now will be crucial in laying the groundwork for years to come.”

Other significant findings include:

  • 27% of respondents predict that Dubai will become a leading emerging financial centre within the next five years, while 14% suggest Mumbai has similar potential. Further suggestions include Sydney, Singapore and Shanghai
  • Financial services leaders are concerned about the regulatory impact of Brexit. The majority (64%) say Brexit will definitely impact on their current compliance programmes. 15% indicate that Brexit has already affected their compliance function, with a further 33% predicting that it will have an impact within the next 18 months.

Julian Korek concludes:

“Many firms are considering their options in anticipation of Brexit to continue marketing in the EU, such as using management companies and revising their operating models. But Brexit may also open up opportunities in other jurisdictions through new trade agreements to distribute products. It remains a complex regulatory and market environment for the industry across the globe, which will need to be managed dynamically. The success with which firms do so could prove a differentiator in next few years.”

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