The Virgin Islands fell 12 spots to a ranking of 72nd out of 111 jurisdictions included in the Global Financial Centres Index 28, the latest edition of an index released twice a year by the London-based think- tank Z/Yen Group.

The VI dropped 68 points to a total 587, ultimately finishing fourth in the Latin America and Caribbean region behind Bermuda, the Bahamas and Mexico City.

The Cayman Islands — even as it saw a victory this week as it was removed, along with Oman, from the European Union blacklist of “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions” — fell 31 places and is now ranked 78th. Its ratings dropped by almost 100 points to 575.

Among other Caribbean jurisdictions, Bermuda improved two places to 61st, and the Bahamas, the biggest winner in the region, jumped from 105th to 69th. Latin American and Caribbean jurisdictions recovered ground in GFCI 28, with nine of the 11 centres in the region improving in the rankings since the last index. Barbados also improved considerably in the rankings, up 22 places to finish 86th.

The index

Z/Yen partners with the China Development Institute, a thinktank based in Shenzhen, to produce the GFCI, which is up- dated every March and September and is created based on a combination of quantitative data and survey responses from more than 8,500 financial services professionals.

The group stated in its report that the latest index showed high volatility, with 23 centres rising 10 or more places in the rankings and 20 falling 10 or more places. The average rating of centres in the index dropped more than 41 points, or 6.25 percent. This “may indicate a more general lack of confidence in finance during a time of continuing uncertainty around international trade, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on individual economies, and geopolitical and local unrest,” the group wrote.

New York again led the rankings of global financial centres, followed by London. Shanghai took third, passing Tokyo, while Hong Kong and Singapore ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.

Fintech

The index also produced a separate list of financial technology centres. The VI fell 30 places in those rankings to end up 77th out of 79 centres, though it still topped Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, which were newly ranked. The Bahamas, also newly ranked, finished in 69th place. Chinese and US centres finished strongly in the fintech index, “reflecting their focus on technology development,” the report stated, with New York remaining unchanged on top of the list.


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