Outstanding achievement as Glasgow and Edinburgh reach financial top forty

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  By Bob Duncan

Glasgow has achieved an outstanding performance in the latest global ranking of major financial centres, as it enters the top 40 in the global rankings table for the first time.

Only 3 UK cities are represented in the financial top 40, Edinburgh, London and now Glasgow. Glasgow is ranked higher than cities such as Abu Dhabi, Dublin, Madrid, Mexico City and Beijing. Scotland’s largest city rose 2 places in the latest rankings to 39th in the world, and 14th in Europe.

The table is compiled every six months by Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a financial and business centre established by the government of Qatar in 2005 to attract international financial services and multinational corporations to the region.

The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) is seen as a barometer which has been tracking movements in the competitiveness of financial centres around the world since 2007.

The QFC compile the rankings using a combination of external indices which measure 5 key ‘areas of competitiveness’: People, Business, Environment, Infrastructure, Market Access and General Competitiveness. These data are combined with the results of a questionnaire to give a ranking figure for each of the financial centres tracked.

Glasgow is a world-class business location in a city long-established as a major business and financial services centre.

Despite the current economic climate, Glasgow’s International Financial Services District has maintained momentum over the past 12 months with a series of new job announcements from companies such as Barclays, Santander, esure, Morgan Stanley, NFU Mutual, Tesco Bank, HSBC and Scottish Friendly.

The rankings for both Glasgow and Edinburgh have been climbing or static over recent years, suggesting that Scotland’s reputation for financial probity has not been mortally wounded by the collapse of the two, mainly London-based, international banks, HBoS and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

London has also maintained its position, despite recent revelations and scandals, including the fixing of the Libor interbank lending rate.

James Dornan, MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, said:

“This is brilliant news for Glasgow. It shows this city has a global reputation for financial services excellence and this new report highlights this.

“With Glasgow on a real high and developing into an even better city with the changes taking place between now and the 2014 Commonwealth Games – confidence is high that Glasgow’s presence and standing in the world financial table will only improve.

“All the major players in the financial sector have established operations in Glasgow or in Edinburgh, and this is testament to our ambitions as a city as well as our rich financial heritage and talented workforce.”