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London Jumps in Ranking of Most Appealing Financial Centers

London Jumps to Second Behind NYC in PwC Rank of Finance Cities
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. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

London has moved from sixth to second behind New York in a ranking of the world’s most attractive financial centers by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, due in part to 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 and ranked the social and economic performance of 27 cities.

New York remained in first place, while Toronto and Paris rank third and fourth, respectively, based on a blend of criteria that include cost of living, natural environment, transport, health and security. 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.


London Mayor Boris Johnson has been trying to convince Prime Minister David Cameron’s government to build a new airport to replace Heathrow, which suffers from congestion.

The first Asian city in the ranking, Singapore, comes in seventh, behind Stockholm and San Francisco, and before Hong Kong. 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.

The following is PwC’s ranking.

1. New York
2. London
3. Toronto
4. Paris
5. Stockholm
6. San Francisco
7. Singapore
8. Hong Kong
9. Chicago
10. Tokyo
11. Sydney
12. Berlin
13. Los Angeles
14. Seoul
15. Madrid
16. Beijing
17. Kuala Lumpur
18. Shanghai
19. Moscow
20. Mexico City
21. Abu Dhabi
22. Buenos Aires
23. Istanbul
24. Johannesburg
25. Sao Paulo
27. Mumbai

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