The story that the Paris stock exchange overtook London’s is wholly misleading
THE Independent global survey puts London №1 in Europe and №2 in the World

Graham Charles Lear
4 min readNov 17, 2022

Brexit Britain beats the EU easily in the latest Global Financial Centres Index

The papers (and the BBC of course) have been full of stories taken from a Bloomberg article which reported the Paris stock exchange is now larger than London’s. Well, l can now reveal the full story on behalf of the CIBUK Rebuttal Unit — and it’s good news for Brexiteers and bad news for Rejoiners.

The highly-respected Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) of over 100 global cities puts London far out in front of Paris as a financial centre. London is №1 in Europe and №2 in the World — and its lead over Paris means this pre-eminent position is not going to change soon.

The Global Financial Centres Index — 32nd Edition, Sept 2022

1. The GFCI is compiled using 151 instrumental factors

2. Quantitative measures are provided by third parties including the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD and the United Nations

3. It also uses 66,121 assessments from 11,038 respondents

4. The report is a highly-regarded source of reference around the world

London leaves the EU trailing — again

  • London led the way in Europe
  • London came out at №2 in the world, after New York
  • Paris is down at №10

Overall Global Rankings — The Top 10

  1. New York
  2. London
  3. Singapore
  4. Hong Kong
  5. San Francisco
  6. Shanghai
  7. Los Angeles
  8. Beijing
  9. Shenzhen
  10. Paris

So what was this “doom ’n’ gloom” story about Paris overtaking London all about?

On Monday Bloomberg calculated that the Paris stock exchange was now worth more than London’s. In a technical and very narrow sense this was true — just: “The combined value of British shares is now around $2.821 trillion, while France’s are worth around $2.823 trillion, Bloomberg calculates.”

However this is merely one measure and it ignores the dominant position London holds in every other way — the value of financial instruments traded each day, and other equity and currency markets and trading factors.

The reason for Paris edging ahead in one very narrow measure is mostly down to one French company, without which the figures would look very different. That company is the giant LVMH, which readers will know from its major brands such as Louis Vuitton and Moet et Chandon. LVMH has been doing very well in its sales to China, as well as to the US, thanks to the strong dollar.

When the overwhelmingly dominant company in a country’s main index does well, it increases the market capitalisation of the exchange as a whole. And this is what has happened. This does not in any way indicate that Paris has overtaken London as a global financial centre, as the data above clearly shows.

Here are the ‘Also Rans’ from the EU

  • Only five EU cities made it into the Top 25, and they are far behind London
  • №10 Paris
  • №18 Frankfurt
  • №19 Amsterdam
  • №21 Luxembourg
  • №24 Munich
  • Three of the eight European centres in the Top 25 are outside the EU — London, Geneva and Zurich

London beats Paris on every measure
It doesn’t matter which metric you look at in this extensive report, London beats Paris.

Here is another example — Top 15 Global Cities As Desirable Places To Live And Work

№2 : London
Not in Top 15: Paris
And here is another one — Top Global FinTech Centres

№4 : London
№16 : Paris
The above all come from the very comprehensive Global Financial Centres Index.

Yes, London still dominates Europe — but we have a caveat

Rejoiners are fond of pouncing on one piece of news or another to prove “Brexit isn’t working”. The reality is quite different. It is in fact the lack of Brexit that isn’t working.

The UK’s financial services industry is crucial for the country’s success, accounting for over 10% of GDP and employing large numbers of people from Scotland down to the South Coast. Over recent years it has been subject to increasing interference from draconian and wholly unsuitable EU laws imposed from Brussels.

Despite the UK having now ‘left’ the EU, it remains the case that the vast majority of EU laws are still in the UK statute book. The Government has promised on many occasions to act but so far the progress has been pitifully slow.

When it comes to the UK’s strong financial services industry, time is of the essence. The Government simply must get a move on and repeal measures such as the onerous and unnecessary solvency impositions and the EU’s MIFID regulations.

Financial services is a highly competitive field around the world and the City must be allowed to do what it does best, with light-touch regulation fit for the 21st century. If the Government and its regulatory agencies do not act with alacrity then the UK will slip down the global tables. This is a vital area where we must see Brexit benefits starting to be delivered.

Sources: The Global Financial Centres Index | Euronext | LSE | World Exchanges organisation

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.