Frequently Asked Questions
- Why study financial centres?
- How does the GFCI work?
- How often is the GFCI published?
- How are the instrumental factors selected?
- How are the financial centres selected?
- How do I participate?
- Does Z/Yen have any further research into financial centres?
- Are there any further sponsorship opportunities?
- How do I get more information about my financial centre?
Financial centres add value by directing investment toward innovation and growth. Vibrant, competitive financial centres give cities economic advantages in information, knowledge and access to capital. Being part of the global financial network ensures that cities gain from global trade and growth. Policy creates successful financial centres.
GFCI is created using a 'factor assessment model'. This new technique avoids the disadvantages of a more traditional approach, principally a low response rate due to the complexity of the weightings and the number of ratings required for each area of competitiveness.
The ‘factor assessment model’ uses two distinct sets of input:
- Instrumental factors (external indices that contribute to competitiveness):
Objective evidence of competitiveness is sought from a wide variety of comparable sources. For example, evidence about the infrastructure competitiveness of a financial centre is drawn from a survey of property and an index of occupancy costs. Evidence about a fair and just business environment is drawn from a corruption perception index and an opacity index.
- Financial centre assessments:
By means of an online questionnaire, running continuously since 2007, we use 33,023 financial centre assessments drawn from 1,876 respondents.
Creating the GFCI does not involve totaling or averaging scores across instrumental factors. An approach involving totaling and averaging would involve a number of difficulties:
- indices are published in a variety of different forms: an average or base point of 100 with scores above and below this; a simple ranking; actual values (e.g. $ per square foot of occupancy costs); a composite ‘score’;
- indices would have to be normalised, e.g. in some indices a high score is positive while in others a low score is positive;
- not all centres are included in all indices;
- the indices would have to be weighted.
The guidelines for financial centre assessments by respondents are:
- responses are collected via an online questionnaire which runs continuously. A link to this questionnaire is emailed to the target list of respondents at regular intervals and other interested parties can fill this in by following the link given in the GFCI publications;
- financial centre assessments will be included in the GFCI model for 24 months after they have been received;
- respondents rating fewer than 3 or more than half of the centres are excluded from the model;
- respondents who do not say where they work are excluded;
- financial centre assessments from the month when the GFCI is created are given full weighting and earlier responses are given a reduced weighting on a log scale.
For more details please see the Methodology section.
The GFCI is published every six months in March and September. GFCI 1 was published in March 2007. The index itself is generated every three months and the ‘interim’ results are posted on this site in June and December.
Instrumental Factors have been selected to represent, or act as a proxy for, the most important areas of financial centre competitiveness. We change the instrumental factors when better or more applicable factors are discovered. Please see the current list of instrumental factors for more information. The rules we impose on new instrumental factors are as follows:
- indices should come from a reputable body and be derived from a sound methodology;
- indices should be readily available (ideally in the public domain) and be regularly updated;
- updates to the indices should be collected and collated every six months;
- no weightings should be applied to indices;
- indices should be entered into the GFCI model as directly as possible, whether this is a rank, a derived score, a value, a distribution around a mean or a distribution around a benchmark;
- if a factor is at a national level, the score should be used for all centres in that country; nation-based factors should be avoided if financial centre (city)-based factors are available;
- if an index has multiple values for a city or nation, the most relevant value should be used (and the method for judging relevance should be noted);
- if an index is at a regional level, the most relevant allocation of scores to each centre should be made (and the method for judging relevance should be noted);
- if an index does not contain a value for a particular city, a blank should be entered against that centre (no average or mean should be used). Only indices which have values for at least one third of the financial centres (currently 25) should be included.
46 centres were originally selected in 2006 for inclusion within the GFCI. Since then, centres have been added according to strict criteria. When a centre has been mentioned by five different respondents (from outside the country where the centre is located) the centre is added to the GFCI questionnaire for the following GFCI. That centre can then be assessed by worldwide respondents and will be added to the GFCI itself when it has received a minimum of 200 assessments from outside the country where the centre is located.
Please go directly to the questionnaire. You will be asked to register and create a password. Please complete the questionnaire (this should take no more than five minutes) by assessing the financial centres with which you are familiar.
Z/yen conducts a substantial amount of research in this area. Please contact Mark Yeandle on
or on +44 20 7562 9562 for further information.
Yes. Please contact Mark Yeandle on
or on +44 20 7562 9562 for further information.
We often produce reports for individual financial centres and organisations regarding financial centre competitiveness. There are various types of information we can include in these reports:
We can provide:
- average assessments;
- number of assessments;
- standard deviation of assessments;
- breakdown of assessments by location of respondents;
- GFCI ratings and rankings over time;
- GFCI ratings and rankings by instrumental factor groupings;
- GFCI ratings and rankings by industry sector;
- examine instrumental factors for correlation with GFCI – take the top 20 in terms of correlation and identify a centre’s performance in relation tot hese factors (e.g. in which quartile do they appear);
- For the instrumental factors where a centre performs poorly (e.g. in the bottom half), re-run the GFCI with scores reset at higher levels (say those of a competitor);
- From the above, identify a number of ‘instrumental factor targets’ for a centre – the ones that make a difference in terms of importance and sensitivity;
- run an ‘Area specific GFCI’;
- run industry sectoral tests for the ‘Area specific GFCI’ to see how a centre stacks up against directly competitive centres for banking, asset management, insurance etc.;
- suggest possible threats to a centre’s competitiveness;
- from the above, suggest strategic priorities for a centre to achieve its ambitions.
Please contact Mark Yeandle on
or on +44 20 7562 9562 for more details.