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New York retains top spot in Z/Yen financial centre index

By Huw Jones
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - New York extended its lead over London to head Z/Yen Group's rankings of global financial centres on Thursday, with Tokyo leap-frogging Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai into third place.

Financial centres in eastern Europe and central Asia showed strong improvement.

Geneva, Los Angeles, and San Francisco entered the top 10, easing out Dubai, Shenzhen, and Sydney, the Z/Yen consultancy said. Hong Kong, which has faced domestic political turbulence, fell from third to sixth place.

"Uncertainty about trade, the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to much more volatility in the index results than is normal," Michael Mainelli, Z/Yen Group's executive chairman, said in a statement.

"Competition remains fierce amongst financial centres."

The twice-yearly index, rates 108 financial centres based on assessments from 5,064 professionals and backed by quantitative data, is partnered by the China Development Institute in London and Seoul.

Z/Yen said that New York came top in the fintech rankings, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, London, and Singapore.

Seven of the top ten centres for fintech are Chinese, while Vilnius was ranked 13th in its first entry.

Britain's financial services firms still have unfettered access to the EU, their biggest customer, until the end of December when a transition period that followed Brexit in January ends.

Firms are likely to get far less access to the bloc next year, which some bankers fear will damage London's attractiveness as a global financial centre.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Nick Zieminski)