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Business News 2009
Business News->UK claims top spot as world’s leading financial centre
UK claims top spot as world’s leading financial centre

9 October 2009

London's Financial CentreThe UK is now the world's leading international financial centre according to the World Economic Forum Financial Development Report released today. The report, which ranks 55 of the world's leading financial systems and capital markets, found the UK was stronger than Australia (2nd position) and the USA (3rd position) because of the "relative strength of its banking and non-banking financial activities". This week, the UK's capital London was also reaffirmed as the number one European centre in which to locate a business for the 20th year in a row by the European Cities Monitor report 2009.

Celebrating the UK's number one ranking, Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business Lord Davies of Abersoch said: "The World Economic Forum report reaffirms why so many global financial companies continue to flock to the UK. Our status as the leading financial centre of the world is based on our openness, fairness and wealth of international talent.

"I am confident our entrepreneurial and innovative spirit will set the UK's financial services sector in a strong position to capitalise on the opportunities when the recovery comes."

Recent international investment into the UK's financial services sector includes China Construction Bank, which opened its first wholly-owned subsidiary outside Asia in London; the State Bank of India which expanded its operations in the UK; and India Infrastructure Finance Company opening its first overseas office in London.

The World Economic Forum report closely follows the World Bank's Doing Business Report 2010, published last month, which saw the UK rise to 5th position globally in ease of doing business. The UK's attractiveness as a premier destination for investment was reflected in UK Trade & Investment's (UKTI) annual report, which found five new companies choosing to set up or expand operation in the UK every day.

London voted number one destination for business in Europe

Big Ben and the Houses of ParliamentFor the 20th year in a row London remains Europe’s best city for business. The capital was rated ahead of Paris and Frankfurt in Cushman & Wakefield’s annual European Cities Monitor report and follows another recent survey, which rated London ahead of its arch rivals New York, Hong Kong and Singapore and Zurich as a top global financial centre. London was ranked the number one city for access to qualified staff and markets, for internal transport and external links and the number of languages spoken.

London's Mayor, Boris Johnson said: "Yet again London leads the way as the number one city for business. All these recent surveys make it crystal clear that the world’s attention is focussed on our capital, offering it an extremely bright future. We are working tirelessly to promote London as the top business and tourist destination and will continue to set the benchmark.

“We are pushing ahead with major infrastructure improvements, like Crossrail and the Olympics, and delivering programmes to increase the skills of our workforce so that companies investing in London have a pool of talent ready to employ. Therefore I urge all international and European businesses who want a base in the world's best city for business to get in touch”.

European Cities Monitor

European Cities Monitor is based on interviews with senior managers and board directors in charge of location for 500 of Europe’s largest companies. From this research it produces an overall ranking of which European city is considered by the business community to be ‘best for business’ and the ‘best city in which to locate a business today’. In addition to the overall ranking, 34 cities are ranked against a number of criteria such as quality of life, telecommunications, access to markets, availability and quality of staff, cost of office space and transport links.

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