The 20 most important cities in global finance this year

There is fierce competition every year for a space on Z/Yen’s Global Financial Cities Index, and 2015 is no different.

The ranks give cities a combined score based on five main factors:

  • Business environment
  • Financial sector development,
  • Infrastructure
  • Human capital
  • Reputational and general factors.

There was a huge reaction when New York dethroned London as the world’s top financial hub last year — but has London managed to take the crown back? And how are Asia’s growing megacities doing as China’s rapid growth cools?

20.) DOHA just makes it into the top 20, climbing from 22nd place last year, the capital of Qatar is the middle east's second most important financial hub.

19.) FRANKFURT is down three places on the list, despite the opening of the European Central Bank's massive new headquarters there.

18.) MONTREAL sneaks into the top 20, making it Canada's third highest-ranking financial centre.

17.) LUXEMBOURG punches well above its weight in finance -- the tiny city-state is Europe's fourth highest-ranked hub.

16.) SHANGHAI is mainland China's most important financial hub, climbing higher after its stock market was connected to Hong Kong's.

15.) VANCOUVER drops one place from last year, staying as Canada's second most important city for finance.

14.) RIYADH climbed seven places from last year as the Saudi capital prepares to allow foreigners to invest in stocks there.

12.) GENEVA is the third most important European city for finance, and Switzerland's second-most important, showing the country's clout.

12.) WASHINGTON D.C. stays high in the rankings but has now slipped out of the top ten spaces.

11.) TORONTO takes the highest ranking of any city in the Americas outside the USA, holding its position last year.

10.) BOSTON has slipped a little in the rankings from last year, but just keeps its spot in the top ten.

9.) CHICAGO breaks into the top ten, climbing three places from last year's rankings and passing Boston.

8.) SAN FRANCISCO edges out Chicago as the USA's number two city for finance, but it has fallen three places.

A container ship sails beneath the Golden Gate Bridge as it makes its way into port in San Francisco, California

7.) SEOUL moved up one spot as South Korea takes an increasingly important position in Asian finance.

6.) ZURICH makes the grade as the second highest-ranked European city on the list.

5.) TOKYO still punches above its weight as a financial centre, scoring particularly well on the index for infrastructure.

4.) SINGAPORE comes in fourth overall, with the best business environment score of Asian financial centre.

2.) LONDON misses out on the number 1 spot, but it is the world's best for financial sector development and infrastructure.

A tug pulls a container barge down the River Thames in front of London's financial district of Canary Wharf in the early morning January 24, 2015.

1.) NEW YORK holds the top spot again -- there's barely anything to choose between New York and London, but the Big Apple's reputation edges it.

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