London is still top financial city

London has topped a poll of the worlds’ leading business cities, eFinancial News reports.

The city was praised for its culture and social scene above that of Switzerland, where many have previously moved for “lifestyle reasons” and it’s tax haven status.

The Global Financial Centres Index ranked 75 other cities across five areas of competitiveness: people, business, environment, market access, infrastructure and general competitiveness. For its business and corporate events, London has long been recognised as amongst the best, topping the poll for the fourth time.

“It all got a bit shaky about nine months ago but it’s settled down,” said Stuart Fraser, chairman of the policy committee for the City of London when speaking to the Financial Times.

“It is politically convenient to kick the banking industry but there is more recognition that this is an important industry,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of interest in City property and all the tall buildings that were put on ice are back on again.”

Emerging Asian cities are now chasing the title, with Hong Kong on 759 points compared to New York’s 722 and London’s 775.

In March 2007, only three Asian cities featured in the top 20, now there are eight, including: Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong and Beijing. It is expected that in the coming years they may assume dominance in the financial world.