London has been overtaken by New York as the world’s top financial centre, according to a survey of senior financial services executives commissioned by Kinetic Partners.
The study found that only a quarter of banking, asset management and hedge funds leaders now think that London will still be a contender for the world’s pre-eminent global financial centre in five years’ time.
In addition, London’s influence is expected to decline in coming years, the report says.
The survey for Kinetic Partners’ 2014 Global Regulatory Outlook report sees the proportion naming London as the leading financial centre drop to 40%, down from 65% in the same survey last year, while 49% now opt for New York, up from 31% a year ago.
Looking forward, 40% still expect New York to lead the finance world in 2018, but just 26% – and only 24% of the 132 chief executives questioned – think the same of London, down from 41% last year.
Chris Lombardy, Regulatory lead in New York, commented: "Despite all the turbulence in global financial markets over the past five years, New York continues to host institutions who are focused on building strong returns for investors. Whilst new regulations have been debated and enacted in many cases, the industry has largely adapted, and confidence appears strong in New York"
Julian Korek, CEO and Founding Member of Kinetic Partners, said: "London’s decline seems to be accelerating as it loses ground to traditional competitors as well as the rising markets of the East. As London falls, Hong Kong and Shanghai are gaining ground."
One in ten respondents (10%) name Hong Kong as a contender for the leading centre in five years, compared with 3% who believe that it leads today.
There was some optimism about Singapore as well, with 6% marking it for future leadership, against 1% today. Shanghai, however, clearly attracts the most attention.
When asked to name the leading emerging financial centre in 2018, almost half (48%) of respondents named Shanghai, while just 7% mentioned Dubai and Sao Paulo, the second most popular choices.
However, more than one in five (22%) are not sure which emerging market will be the next leader.
The survey also revealed widespread frustration with regulators’ efforts when it comes to stabilising the financial system, protecting investors, reacting to public opinion and creating a framework for growth. Almost half (49%) of those questioned believe that no regulator anywhere has struck the right balance between these competing priorities.
Julian Korek added: "Our research shows that the biggest factor in determining where respondents look to do business is the commercial opportunities on offer. More than three quarters (77%) rank it as the most important issue when choosing where to do business, against just 24% who cite regulatory requirements as a decisive factor."