Hong Kong has been ranked as the top international financial centre (IFC) in 2018, according to a report by Vistra.

According to the study, the ranking is driven by a rise in Chinese firms listing in Hong Kong and increasing Chinese HNWI base.

In terms of popularity, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and UK jointly ranked second.

The position of BVI is notable and demonstrates its resilience after it was plagued by the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers data leak scandals.

BVI recorded growth in new incorporation volumes, with 11.2% in the first nine months last year.

Bulk of it was said to be driven by Chinese investment.

“Indeed, where the BVI is seen as challenged, this is more about perception than the quality or prospects of the jurisdiction,” the report noted.

Brexit uncertainties have been blamed for the drop in rankings in case of the UK.

The report said: “In the years before the country’s EU Referendum, the UK’s favourable corporate tax rate and flexible labour legislation meant it was steadily gaining in popularity as an IFC.

“Today, it remains an attractive jurisdiction, particularly for respondents based in Europe, but many believe that the country is inflicting self-harm through its decision to leave the EU.”

The US and Singapore bagged the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.