The number of jobs in 'City type financial services' in London will fall below the number in Hong Kong by 2015 according to Cebr, the economics consultancy.
Figures for City jobs in London, Hong Kong, New York and Singapore show London falling behind both New York and Hong Kong (see Table 1 below) with Singapore fast catching up.
Table 1 - City Type jobs international comparison
Technically there are already more City type jobs in New York than in London this year, though many of the New York jobs service the domestic US economy and it is still correct to say that London is the leading international financial service centre.
But by 2015, the number of financial service jobs in Hong Kong - which was less than half the London number in 2005 - will have overtaken the number in London and Hong Kong will be the main international financial centre in the world.
Meanwhile, Singapore will be snapping at London's heels as the financial markets shift to the Far East.
The reasons are mixed. Many of the Asian markets have gained critical mass, enabling them to take on functions and services previously carried out only in the West.
Onerous regulation and taxation in the UK have also contributed.
New York has declined by less than London because of the greater strength of the US economy over the European economy, which has caused financial transactions in the US to weaken by less than in Europe.
But the main reason for the shift to the East is the more dynamic growth of the Asian economies, which has created a booming demand for financial services.
Comments Cebr economist Rob Harbron, main author of the report 'Hong Kong has jumped from half London's size to overtaking London within a decade. This is dramatic.'
Comments Douglas McWilliams, Cebr's Chief Executive, 'Much of this shift is inevitable as a result of the world's changing economic geography. And Hong Kong will be boosted by the internationalization of the renminbi. But we have accelerated the shift through short sighted overregulation, penal taxation and banker bashing.'
image: © John Mitchell
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