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London no longer most appealing city for insurers, study finds

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London has held onto its position as the world’s leading financial centre, but not when it comes to insurance.

According to the Global Financial Centres Index 2013 (GFCI 13), New York has taken over the top spot as the most attractive city for insurers, followed by Hong Kong — bumping London to third.

While the UK’s capital city remained the most appealing place for investment managers, regulatory and professional services and the second biggest hot spot for bankers after New York, it and other centres face increasing competition from the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Zurich.

While London gained 22 points in the overall rankings, some cities climbed at a sharper rate — narrowing the gap.

Sixth placed Tokyo and fourth placed Singapore both saw 34 point jumps, while fifth placed Zurich was up 32 points, according to the GFCI 13’s calculations. Hong Kong’s score grew 28 points.

Bermuda, listed as just Hamilton, came in 49th place on the overall list of global financial centres. But while it gained 17 points, it fell 3 places since last year. It came in seventh place on the report’s list of top offshore financial centres — behind Jersey, Guernsey, Monaco, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man and the British Virgin Islands.

“Offshore centres continue to gain ground in GFCI 13 with good improvements in their ratings,” the report also noted. “Jersey and Guernsey remain the leading centres followed by Monaco (which we classify as ‘offshore’) which ranks 35th, up by 25 ranks and 57 points [since last year].”

The report also highlights the changing priorities and concerns of financial professionals, particularly since the financial crises began to unfold in 2007 and 2008.

“Previous research indicates that many factors combine to make a nancial centre competitive. These factors can be grouped into ve overarching ‘areas of competitiveness’: People, Business Environment, Infrastructure, MarketAccess and General Competitiveness,” the report states.

The top priority for companies looking to invest in particular jurisdiction was access to skilled personnel. Other competitive factors include the regulatory environment, access to financial markets, availability of business infrastructure, access to customers, fair and just business environment and government responsiveness.

The Global Financial Centre Index is compiled by London think-tank, Z/Yen. It is based on two sources of data — instrumental factors drawn from external indices and responses to an online survey.

“Financial centres are added to the GFCI model when they receive five or more mentions in the online questionnaire in response to the question: “Are there any financial centres that might become significantly more important over the next two to three years?’ A centre is only given a GFIC rating and ranking if it receives more than 200 assessments from other centres in the online survey,” the report’s methodology said.

Photo by Glenn Tucker Hamilton is the seventh most popular offshore centre, according to the Global Financial Centres Index 2013.
London remains the world’s leading financial centre, but has dropped to third in the list for insurers, behind New York and Hong Kong, according to the Global Financial Centres Index 2013.

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Published April 02, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 01, 2013 at 7:02 pm)

London no longer most appealing city for insurers, study finds

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