London 'to lose finance jobs spot'

City of LondonLondon is on course to lose its top spot as the world's biggest financial centre by number of jobs, it has been reported.

The number of jobs in financial services in London will be below the number in New York and Hong Kong by 2015, the Sunday Times reported.

London is losing its dominance due to a shift to the east, according to researchers at Cebr, the economic consultancy, but also due to "short-sighted over-regulation, penal taxation and banker bashing" in the UK.

The Government could reportedly lose about £30 billion to £40 billion a year in tax receipts because of the decline in City activity, compared with revenues received at the peak of 2007.

London's financial services sector employed 280,000 people in 2011, compared with 262,000 people in New York.

However, City jobs will fall to 249,500 this year against 254,000 for America's financial capital, according to the Cebr.

By 2015, London will employ 237,000 - a third less than at the peak in 2007 - against 249,700 in New York and 247,900 in Hong Kong.

Cebr economist Rob Harbron told the Sunday Times: "Hong Kong has jumped from half London's size to overtaking London within a decade."

London reportedly holds the largest share of the world's foreign exchange trading at 38.1%, compared to 17.9% for the US and 5.6% for Singapore.

Douglas McWilliams, Cebr's chief executive, said: "Much of this shift is inevitable as a result of the world's changing economic geography. And Hong Kong will be boosted by the internationalisation of the renminbi. But we have accelerated the shift through."
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