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London losing ground to New York

Stephen Beard Feb 29, 2008


Bob Moon: Since we’re on the subject of Wall Street, can you name the financial capital of the world?

OK, I just tricked you into making the connection with New York. But ever since the dot-com crash, London has taken the crown as the world’s leading financial center. Lately, though, it’s been dealing with its own share of trouble. And as Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports from the British capital, it’s beginning to lose ground to the Big Apple again.

Stephen Beard: Twelve hundred financial service workers from around the world were surveyed over the past 18 months. London still emerged as the capital of international finance.

But the survey results that have come in over the past six months show an interesting trend. London is losing popularity fast as a financial center. New York has garnered more votes.

David Buik of the BGC group of brokers blames the British government for this reversal for planning a tax crackdown on wealthy foreigners who come to live in London:

David Buik: To have really stringent levels of stealth taxation on wealthy people who’ve created jobs in this country is ridiculous.

He says London’s reputation also suffered from the near collapse of the Northern Rock Bank. New York’s popularity is undiminished. Most of the bankers taking part in the global survey said they’d rather do business there than anywhere else.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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