Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2003 (Revised July 2014)

'Walking on a Tightrope': Maintaining London as a Financial Center

by Geoffrey Jones and Meghan Gallagher-Kernstine


Focuses on the development of London as a leading international financial center and the difficulties it faces maintaining its status. Examines London's history as a financial center from Roman times to the present day. London's position in the 19th century rested on the great importance of Britain in the world economy and the role of sterling as the major international currency. By the mid-20th century both of these factors were much reduced in importance, but London was renewed as the physical home of the Euromarkets. Explores regulatory and other factors, including economies of agglomeration, which contribute to making a financial center.

Keywords: International Finance; Geographic Location; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Business History; Status and Position; Financial Services Industry; Europe; London;


Jones, Geoffrey, and Meghan Gallagher-Kernstine. "'Walking on a Tightrope': Maintaining London as a Financial Center." Harvard Business School Case 804-081, November 2003. (Revised July 2014.)