Asia To Hold World's Top Financial Centre By 2022: Survey

August 26, 2012Singaporeby EW News Desk Team


Either Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore will replace London as the world’s most dominant financial centres by 2022, claimed a survey of 450 U.K.-based bankers on Sunday, with nearly 31 percent of the respondents choosing Singapore as their most favoured location to work.

The poll, conducted by recruitment firm Astbury Marsden, indicated that the Western financial centres, namely New York and London, were quickly losing their appeal to investment bankers, with a deluge of financial restrictions expected in the near future due to a series of recent high-profile banking scandals.

"Financial centres in the West have taken a real battering since the start of the financial crisis," said Astbury Marsden’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Cameron, as cited by Reuters.

"A fast growing, low tax and bank friendly environment like Singapore stands as a perfect antidote to the comparatively high tax and anti-banker sentiment of London and New York," he added.

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According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of the bankers surveyed said that one of Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore would be the top global finance centre in 10 years. Only one-fifth of the respondents felt that London would hold on to its top spot, while just one-sixth felt that New York would be number one.

Correspondingly, Singapore was the top city where British bankers would most like to live, claiming 31 percent of the votes, compared to 27 percent from last year.

New York was second with 20 percent of the votes, while London slipped to third with 19 percent of the votes versus 22 percent last year. Hong Kong and Dubai got 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

“Cities like Singapore and Hong Kong have been quick to capitalize on setbacks in London and New York, courting investment banks and reacting to demand from expats and tourists for facilities such as sporting, music and other international events,” noted Cameron. “This has made them popular destinations for expat investment bankers and hedge fund staff.”

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Furthermore, “the increasing mobility of the workforce means that far more London-based bankers are now more willing and able to relocate the 6,700 miles to Singapore,” Cameron believes.

"Young investment bankers, without commitments of a family, now see a move to the Asia-Pacific region as a crucial step up the corporate ladder, rather than a hardship posting. We are increasingly being asked by talented candidates to find them roles in the Asia-Pacific region."

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