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Leading Offshore IFCs Fall In Latest Financial Centers Index

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
03 October, 2014

New York, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore have again topped the latest biannual Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI) compiled by Z/Yen. Substantial falls were seen in the rankings of leading offshore centers, such as Jersey and Guernsey.

The GFCI, which this time surveyed 2,211 persons, measures the competitiveness of financial centers based on the business and tax environment, human capital, infrastructure, reputation, and market access. In the latest ranking, New York retained its lead with a rating of 778 – one point ahead of London, which was dethroned by New York in March's report.

The British Virgin Islands was the highest rated offshore center in 47th place, followed by Gibraltar (53rd), the Cayman Islands (54th), Bermuda (58th), Jersey (62nd), the Isle of Man (64th), Guernsey (67th), Mauritius (69th), the Bahamas (71st), Malta (76th), and Cyprus (79th).

Responding to the report, former Cayman Finance CEO Gonzalo Jalles questioned the basis for a fall in the scores of some offshore financial centers, stating: "While we welcome the fact that Cayman is ranked in the top three of offshore centers ahead of significant competitors like Bermuda, Jersey, and Guernsey, the dramatic changes in ranking that have been displayed in this current index and some particular results make us doubt of the usefulness of this index. The changes in the rankings of offshore centers are difficult to reconcile with recent industry developments."

Just six months ago, Jersey was the leading offshore financial center in the March index, in 41st place overall, followed by Guernsey (42nd), the Cayman Islands (43rd), the British Virgin Islands (44th), the Isle of Man (51st), and Gibraltar (53rd).

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