LONDON is still top dog as far as international finance goes, according to a survey bankers from around the world.

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New York lost the number one spot to London a couple of years ago and, despite strenuous efforts on the part of Wall Street to grab back its lead, there it remains, reports the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index today.

But the tussle betweeen the two north Atlantic cities is seen increasingly as yesterday’s war. Instead, the fear among some of London’s business leaders is that its time in the sun will be eclipsed in the near future by fast-growing financial centres in the Far East.

London “cannot rest on its laurels,” said Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Olympics and London, due to the “new economic powerhouses such as China, India and Russia.”

Established Asian cities like Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong ranked 3rd, 4th and 6th respectively, are likely to be joined by fast-risers such as Shanghai (ranked 24), Beijing (57) and Shenzhen (60) in the top ten sometime soon, the Mastercard-spoonsored report reveals.

“Shanghai is well positioned to reassume its place among the top three cities in the world within the next 15 to 20 years,” said Manu Bhaskaran, a member of the survey’s research panel, which used factors such as a city’s legal system, economic stability and livability, as well as raw finance, to come to its conclusions.