Global Financial Centers Index 2021: Zurich and Geneva are falling far behind

The current Global Financial Centers Index, or GFCI for short, shows that Geneva and Zurich are falling far behind. It is noticeable that ‘new’ financial centers such as Boston, Dubai, Amsterdam and Toronto are growing massively. Interestingly, these are precisely the cities where technologies such as Bitcoin and blockchain are heavily promoted. But first what is the GFCI? The Global Financial Centers Index is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centers based on over 29,000 financial center ratings. Quite a lot of information flows into this report: business environment, financial sector development, infrastructure factors, human capital, reputation and general factors. If you want to browse and sort it a little, gladly here on Wikipedia.

Zurich financial center
Formerly the top 10, today under ‘also ran’: Zurich financial center. The global ranking of financial centers.

The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on over 29,000 financial centre assessments from an online questionnaire together with over 100 indices from organisations such as the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Economist Intelligence Unit. The first index was published in March 2007. It has been jointly published twice per year by Z/Yen Group in London and the China Development Institute in Shenzhen since 2015, and is widely quoted as a top source for ranking financial centres

A few years ago the financial center of Zurich was still in the top 10! It should be noted, however, that this report is compiled in a very anachronistic way. Selectors such as reputation or insurance (s) are overrated. And just a point like innovation should at least be a main ranking factor. Trust used to play an important role. Monitoring money laundering is certainly ok. This has an impact on the reputation of a financial center. But other things? High bankers in particular looked to see whether the tie was right and who exactly was the affair in – not so entirely private – life. In the age of Trustless Systems, it is probably more important that algorithms and ciphers are properly implemented.

Ranking factors such as innovation, technology and IT play too little role. If innovation were rated correctly, Zurich would certainly be further ahead. Then in the current WEF rating Switzerland is number 1 when it comes to innovation. And the city of Zug is missing from the GFCI ranking above. Or is the Zuger Crypto Valley part of the extended Agglo Züri? In other words: this report has potential.

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Global Financial Centers Index 2021: Zurich and Geneva are falling far behind