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