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London and New York remain leading financial centers

London retained its place atop the Global Financial Centres index, holding off New York for consecutive editions as the world's leading financial center.

The Brexit vote in June and the U.S. election in November had a significant impact on London and New York’s ratings, declining 13 and 14 points, respectively. Hong Kong and Singapore continued to close the gap with New York. Among the financial professionals surveyed, concerns centered around “protectionism” and the growth of financial technology were viewed as disruptive factors to watch moving forward. Fintech’s advancement has been strong in Los Angeles, with venture capital funds taking interest in the area.

The index is compiled using 101 instrumental factors focused around a city's competitiveness in the areas of business environment, human capital, infrastructure, sector development and reputation, provided by third-party data sources. Perceptions of corruption and stability of a city were highlighted as areas of growing importance. The top five cities in the survey were rated the most favorably in terms of perceived corruption.

In addition to the instrumental factors used, assessments provided by 3,008 survey responses provided complementary input.