NY crowned world's top financial centre

New York has overtaken London as the world's most attractive financial centre, a survey says, as Britain's decision to leave the European Union prompts banks to shift jobs out of the city to preserve access to Europe's single market.

Since Britain voted to leave the EU more than two years ago, some of the world's most powerful finance companies in London have been searching for a way to preserve the existing cross-border flow of trading after it leaves the bloc in 2019.

New York took first place, followed by London, Hong Kong and Singapore in the Z/Yen global financial centres index, which ranks 100 financial centres on factors such as infrastructure and access to high quality staff.

Shanghai overtook Tokyo to move into fifth place in the index gaining 25 points in the ratings. Beijing, Zurich, and Frankfurt moved into the top 10 centres, replacing Toronto, Boston, and San Francisco.

London's ranking fell by eight points from six months ago, the biggest decline among the top contenders. The survey's authors said the drop reflected the uncertainty around Brexit.

"We are getting closer and closer to exit day and we still don't know whether London will be able to trade with all the other European financial centres," Mark Yeandle, the co-creator of the index, told Reuters.

"The fear of losing business to other centres is driving the slight decline and people are concerned about London's competitiveness."

Since Britain voted more than two years ago to leave the EU, some of the world's most powerful finance companies in London have begun moving staff to the EU to preserve the existing cross-border flow of trading after 2019.

Around 5,000 roles are expected to be shifted or created in the EU from London by March next year, the date of Britain's EU exit, a study by Reuters published in March found.

The head of the City of London financial district predicted in July that 3,500 to 12,000 financial jobs would go because of Brexit.

Australian Associated Press