The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) 2, released in October, places the UK and US financial hubs well ahead of the two Asian centres of Hong Kong (third place) and Singapore (fourth place). Zurich is in fifth place, just ahead of Frankfurt.

Since the first edition of the GFCI in March 2007, London has maintained its lead over New York in all five areas of competitiveness – people, business environment, market access, infrastructure and general competitiveness.

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The GFCI rates the competitiveness of the world’s top financial centres and is compiled by the Z/Yen Group for the City of London.

The index uses data from 54 published indices as well as the results of an online questionnaire completed by 825 financial services professionals.

Mark Yeandle, one of the authors of the report, said: “London and New York continue to be the only two global financial centres; they may be competitors, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.

“Financial centre competitiveness is not a zero-sum game where one centre’s gain is another’s loss. London and New York are complementary to each other and each thrives on the other’s success”.

Michael Snyder, chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London, said; “To maintain competitiveness, the UK must take action now to address our lamentable public transport and below-par aviation hubs.”