Many countries worldwide are developing their financial industry around one or several financial centers. A financial center is a kind of service infrastructure to serve investors and corporate to manage savings and to finance entrepreneurial risk to trigger economic growth in a sustainable environment.
This service center is a mix of technical requirements (physical infrastructure, law, tax and regulatory framework, talent) and business conditions (the association of a critical mass of complementary business lines, e.g. retail and corporate banking, capital markets, asset and wealth management, insurance, consulting, tax and legal advice, infrastructure). All that creates an ecosystem, more or less specialized and of different size addressing local, regional or global targets.
Financial centers have in common to bring to the users the best of needed financial services and access to funding.
Today, the financial industry all around the world is challenged on its value creation, risks and contribution to growth: Lack of understanding and complexity of the chain of intermediation (services vs products). It is also challenged by a heavy new regulatory framework, globalization and new technologies that all combined change significantly its economical balance and business models.
Financial centers having a more holistic position in this game. And different drivers (fixed location, at the core of states or regions) have a specific role in contributing to face those challenges.
At the global level, it is important to have the planet surrounded by a network of financial centers propagating best financial practices and bringing financial functionalities and services as near as possible to the end user in a context that respects cultural and operational diversity. This mission should work in a compatible framework of rules.
Obviously, those financial centers, part of the network, would not be identical in size or scope of activities. Nevertheless, some level of cross fertilizations should be useful to leverage collective and individual efficiency. It is just, then in this context that some level of competition will be exercised.
The World Association of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) aims to organize this cross-fertilization process and to facilitate cooperation, exchange of best practices and communication about how the financial industry in between the corporate and investor world contribute directly to growth conditions.