eli5:What is a financial centre?


Why is Singapore one? Aren’t there banks in most countries so what make something a financial centre?

In: Economics

There’s no hard and fast definition, but it’s basically measured by how much financial infrastructure you have in a place.

That doesn’t mean regular retail banks (ATMs, car loans, etc.), those are “everywhere”. It means investment banks, hedge fund, exchanges (foreign currencies, stocks, bonds, etc.), merger & acquisition law firms, and all the supporting industries that make that go (good international air connection, global scale broadband, etc.)

Singapore is one of the places that has a *lot* of that in a small space, along with Hong Kong, New York, London, Tokyo, Chicago, Paris…

It’s like saying, “Detroit is an automotive center” or “Amsterdam is the diamond center.” They’re not just places you can buy something, they’re the places where a whole bunch of expertise and capability in a particular field is concentrated.