The OFEX database is representative, built from reliable and in-depth data sources, and contains 55 indicators measuring the attractiveness of financial centres according to four categories.

Only indicators whose construction method is transparent, comparable between countries/cities and from reliable sources validated by experts, are used into the index (e.g. OECD, BIS, IMF, World Bank…). Priority has been given to indicators with some historical depth. A few exceptions had to be made for important indicators (notably for the digital and ESG financial sector development) that were deemed too important for attractiveness to be left aside even if not all the criteria were met.

Indicator selection was also a balance between comprehensiveness and interpretability. For example, usually when redundant or very similar indicators were identified, only one was kept. Prioritization was based on data source reliability, historical depth or indicator reliability.

The database contains historical data since 2000 and is updated on a yearly basis.

OFEX relies on indicators categorized in 4 main categories:

  • Financial and economic sector development (22 indicators):  Financial market size, volumes, major actors & credit market size and economic dynamism
  • Human capital (14 indicators): Human capital availability and capacity to attract it
  • Infrastructure (4 indicators): Transport and telecom infrastructure development and quality
  • Business environment (15 indicators): Ease to create, develop and maintain a profitable business

Financial market size, volumes, major actors & credit market size and economic dynamism.

  • OTC FX derivatives turnover - BIS
    Global foreign exchange and over-the-counter derivatives markets
  • OTC IR derivatives turnover - BIS
    Global interest rate and over-the-counter derivatives markets
  • Gross insurance premiums - OECD
    Total insurance premiums in the reporting country
  • Listed bond value - BIS
    Total debt securities outsanding
  • Market capitalization on stock market - The World Bank
    Share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding for listed domestic companies
  • Number of listed companies - The World Bank
    Listed domestic companies, including foreign companies which are exclusively listed
  • Total credit to households - BIS
    Total amount of combined funds that are provided to individuals by financial companies
  • Total credit to non-financial corporations - BIS
    Total amount of combined funds that are provided to non-financial corporations by financial institutions
  • Value of bond trading - World Federation of Exchanges
    Total value of bonds trading on electronic order book
  • Value of share trading - World Federation of Exchanges
    Total value of share trading on electronic order book
  • Volume of share trading - World Federation of Exchanges
    Total number of share trading on electronic order book
  • Capital raised through IPO - World Federation of Exchanges
    Total capital raised through IPO
  • ESG bonds - Climate Bonds Initiative
    Amounts of green, social and sustainable bonds issued
  • AML effectiveness - Basel Institute on Governance
    Measures the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing
  • Global fintech ecosystem rankings - Findexable
    Scores the quantity of privately owned fintech companies, the quality of those companies, the local business environment
  • Bank assets - BIS
    Positions reported by banks on local positions in the fourth quarter
  • Clearing house transactions - BIS
    Value of transactions cleared by clearing houses
  • Central securities depositories transactions - BIS
    Value of transactions processed by central securities depositories
  • Assets under management value - EFAMA
    Total net assets excluding fund of funds in the fourth quarter
  • Fintech activity index - The World Bank
    Scores the investments in fintech, usage of fintech credit, usage of digital payments and finance app downloads
  • International financial institutions - Institut Louis Bachelier
    Number of international cross-boarder financial institutions
  • SSE assessment - SSE initiative
    Scores the work that stock exchanges are undertaking to advance sustainability in their respective markets

Working Environment

Ease to create, develop and maintain a profitable business.

  • Current GDP country - The World Bank
    Current GDP of the country
  • GDP growth over 5 years - The World Bank
    Current GDP growth (in %) of the country over the last 5 years
  • Current GDP city - OECD
    Current GPD of the city
  • Global office market occupancy cost - CBRE
    Total cost to occupy the highest quality office space in each market’s highest-quality location
  • Exports - The World Bank
    Exports including all transactions of goods and services from residents of a country to non-residents
  • Foreign direct investment inflows - The World Bank
    Direct investment equity flows in the reporting economy
  • Global innovation index - INSEAD
    Rank the most innovative economies in the world based on approximately 80 indicators
  • Political stability - The World Bank
    Likelihood of political instability and/or politically-motivated violence, including terrorism
  • World press freedom - RSF
    Media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists
  • Regulatory quality - The World Bank
    Ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development
  • Product market regulation - OECD
    Represent state control, barriers to entrepreneurship, and barriers to trade and investment
  • Strictness of employment protection - OECD
    Evaluate the regulations on the dismissal of workers on regular contracts and the hiring of workers on temporary contracts
  • Corporate income tax rates - OECD
    Basic central government statutory corporate income tax rate
  • Global competitiveness index - World Economic Forum
    Ability of countries to provide high levels of prosperity to their citizens
  • Rule of law - The World Bank
    Quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence

Human capital availability and capacity to attract it.

  • Personal tax rates (single no child) - OECD
    Average personal income tax rates for single persons without children
  • Personal tax rates (married 2 children) - OECD
    Average personal income tax rates for one-earner married couples with children
  • Cost of living city rankings - Mercer
    Reflects the prices of over 200 items including food, alcohol, domestic supplies, housing, clothing, etc.
  • Number of universities in the top 100 world university in economics - Times Higher Education
    Assesses economics universities on teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook
  • Number of universities in the top 100 world university in maths stats - Times Higher Education
    Assesses maths/stats universities on teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook
  • Number of universities in the top 500 Shanghai classification - Shanghai ranking
    Assesses universities based on the number of Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers and number of high quality publications
  • Population with tertiary degree for 25 to 34 y.o. - OECD
    Population having completed the highest level of education between 25 and 34 years old
  • Global expenditure on R&D as a % of GDP - OECD
    Gross domestic expenditure on research and development as a percentage of GDP
  • Health index - OECD
    Health quality based on life expectancy and self-reported health
  • Life satisfaction index - OECD
    Life satisfaction based on people's rates of their current life
  • Safe cities index - EIU
    City security assessment including digital security, health security, infrastructure security and personal security
  • Gross value added per hour worked - OECD
    Measure of labour productivity
  • Visa restrictions index - Henley Partners
    Total number of countries that can be accessed visa-free using a country's passport
  • Person in finance - International Labour Organization
    Total people employment in financial and insurances activities

Transport and telecom infrastructure development and quality.

  • Airport passenger traffic - Port Authority NY/NJ
    Total passengers, defined as passengers enplaned, passengers deplaned and direct-transit passengers
  • Internet availibility - Opensignal
    Average proportion of time users spend with a 4G or better connection on each operator's network
  • ICT development index - International Telecommunication Union
    Assesses the developments in information and communication technology
  • Ground and port Infrastructure - World Economic Forum
    The availability of efficient and accessible transportation to key business centres and tourist attractions