Skyline of the financial district

Montreal has held on to its position in a global ranking of financial centre competitiveness, but Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary have all dropped.

The latest edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) from London-based think-tank Z/Yen Group has Vancouver ranked highest among Canadian cities, but down two spots from its previous ranking to 24th overall.

Montreal held on to the 26th position, while Toronto dropped eight places to 31st and Calgary fell to 51st after being 40th in the previous ranking.

While three of the cities dropped in the rankings, all four of them saw their competitiveness score fall.

The rankings aim to assess competitiveness factors such as the business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development and reputation. Objective assessments of these factors are coupled with the results of an ongoing industry survey.

New York continued to lead the overall global rankings, followed by London.

Z/Yen Group noted that while London remained in second place, it closed the gap with New York in terms of its performance.

Shanghai took third place, dropping Tokyo to fourth. Hong Kong rounded out the top five.

Z/Yen Group said that the average rating of centres in the index dropped from the previous edition, “which may indicate a more general lack of confidence in finance during a time of continuing uncertainty around international trade, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on individual economies, and geopolitical and local unrest.”

However, the ratings for each of the top 10 centres in the index increased.

“This may indicate increased confidence in leading centres during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Z/Yen Group said.

A number of Asian cities saw their rankings rise, which may “reflect levels of confidence in the stability of Asian centres and in their approach to sustainable finance, which appears to be growing in its effect on the overall rating of centres,” the think-tank said.

New York also led the fintech rankings, followed by Beijing, Shanghai, London and Shenzhen.