Despite their reputations taking a severe knock, the world’s offshore financial centres have managed to bounce back in popularity, according to a new report.
The Global Finance Centre Index, produced by research group Long Finance, uses a mix of criteria to gauge the attractiveness of the world’s financial centres.
The index reveals that the leading offshore centre is still Jersey, though it has now dropped out of the top 20.
The index findings show that the Channel Island is followed by Guernsey, Monaco, Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man.
In the past year, the report points to Monaco as having the greatest improvement and has jumped up the index by 25 places.
London still top
However, the report highlights that while their reputations have improved they have experienced relative declines in their rankings since many of the world’s financial centres have made strong progress.
The world’s number one financial centre is still London, closely followed by New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Zurich sits in fifth position while Frankfurt and Paris have managed to close the gap slightly with their London rival.
In addition, the Index says that Rome, Milan, Vienna and Luxembourg have all shown improvements since the last publication a year ago.
There’s no doubt too, that the Eurozone crisis is had a major impact on a number of major financial centres including Lisbon, Reykjavik, Budapest and Athens.
In contrast, the financial centres in the Asia Pacific region have seen improvements, except Beijing which has been dropping down the table since 2010, and has dropped another 15 places.
Asia Pacific rising stars
The strongest performances were seen by Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Tokyo.
In the US, only Boston makes the Index top 10 to take eighth position.
However, with the exception of Chicago and Toronto – which have dropped out of the top ten – and San Francisco all North American financial centres recorded improvements.
The Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have now broken into the Index’s top 50 and Buenos Aires in Argentina has made a big leap up the table.
The most impressive performance has been claimed by Riyad which has leapt 32 places in the rankings.
Bernard Droux, the chairman of Geneva Financial Centre, said the Global Financial Centres Index was widely recognised as being the definitive method for gauging the attractiveness of financial centres.
The bottom of the Index features Moscow in last place – just above Beijing.
Third from bottom, and likely to be a concern for the financial authorities there, is Gibraltar which is rated in the position below Glasgow and St Petersburg.