Over recent years there has been a fierce debate over whether London or New York is the world’s financial capital.
Whilst the transatlantic rivalry between New York and London will continue, London is widely recognised as Europe’s leading financial centre. Although share dealing occurs in the exchanges and bourses of almost every EU member state, the London markets still have the hegemony. While the emerging stock market of Warsaw (WSE) listed an impressive 47% of Europe’s IPOs during Q1 2012, these only accounted for 4% by share value.
Focusing on this measure of share capitalisation, London represented 61% of new stock listings. According to research by the Financial Times, Docklands will become Europe’s biggest employer of bankers taking over from the traditional Square Mile office district.
The London power balance at street level is now about to change in favour of Canary Wharf, with news that JPMorgan Chase is relocating its European head office from the Square Mile.
The US bank will move 8,000 employees from City of London office space into its Bank Street office in Canary Wharf, which will tip the balance in favour of the E14 office rental district. Once the JP Morgan has completed the move, it will raise the total number banking jobs in Docklands to 44,500, compared to only 43,300 employees from the top 16 banks remaining in the Square Mile. Despite the fact only 6 of the UK’s 16 largest banks have their HQs in Canary Wharf these firms are the biggest employers.
In addition to familiar British high street banks such as HSBC and Barclays, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are already based on the Isle of Dogs, E14. These financial institutions have been attracted by the flexibility offered by the modern office towers and the lower rental values compared to the City of London.