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New York takes London's crown as top financial center: survey

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[March 17, 2014]  LONDON (Reuters) — New York has knocked London from its position as the world's leading global financial center after seven years, according to the Global Financial Centres Index compiled by London-based consultancy Z/Yen.

London slipped from the top of the global rankings, scoring 784 against 786 for New York, because a series of own goals had tarnished its reputation, the report said.

"London sees the largest fall in the top 50 centres," said Mark Yeandle, report author and associate director of Z/Yen, in a statement on the group's website.

"This seems to be based on a number of factors including ... uncertainty over Europe, the perception that London might be becoming less welcoming to foreigners and perceived levels of market manipulation."

Hong Kong and Singapore took third and fourth spots respectively, the same as a year ago, the survey showed.

But the gap between the "Big Four" and the chasing pack, led by Zurich, Tokyo and Seoul, was narrowing, it said.

Middle East centres, such as Qatar, Dubai and Riyadh, which took places 26, 29 and 31 respectively, continued to rise in the index, while 23 of the 27 European centres declined in rank.

TheCityUK, a lobby group for British financial and professional services, said London slipping from the top spot should be a wake-up call for Europe's policymakers.

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"London is Europe's financial center and is hugely important to the continent's ability to finance growth and create jobs by attracting global investors," said Chris Cummings, chief executive of TheCityUK.

The Global Financial Centres Index is compiled from assessments completed by 3,246 financial services professionals, Z/Yen said.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Susan Fenton)

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