London has moved up from sixth to a close second behind New York in a ranking of financial centers by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP after the consulting firm took account of the British capital’s international connections.
London’s “economic clout, ease of doing business, innovation and attraction as an international gateway” offset Britain’s sluggish economy and financial job losses, according to the Oct. 11 report by PwC, which examined the social and economic performance of 27 cities.
New York remained in first place, while Toronto and Paris rank third and fourth, respectively. The first Asian city in the ranking, Singapore, comes in seventh, followed by Hong Kong. London, which hosted the Olympics this year, topped PwC’s new “city gateway” category that seeks to measure a financial center’s attraction to people outside its home country.
“If we are to continue to be a high-performing city, we need to consider whether we are planning adequately for the challenges that lie ahead, looking at major infrastructure improvements and connectivity to maintain our edge,” David Snell, a partner in PwC’s London office, said in a statement.
Four of PwC’s five leaders in inner-city transportation and infrastructure sit in Asia: Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Paris moved up seven spots to top the livability category.
The U.K. capital’s financial industry is fighting to keep its reputation intact after scandals including the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate and an alleged $2.3 billion trading fraud at Swiss bank UBS AG. The U.K. has shed more than 100,000 financial jobs, or a tenth of the industry’s workforce, since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008, according to the Confederation of British Industry.
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