London is one of the pre-eminent financial centres of the world as the most important location for international finance. London took over as a major financial centre shortly after 1795 when the Dutch Republic collapsed and for many bankers established in Amsterdam (e.g. Hope, Baring) it was time to move to London. The London financial elite was strengthened by a strong Jewish community from all over Europe capable of mastering the most sophisticated financial tools of the time. This unique concentration of talents accelerated the transition from the Commercial Revolution to the Industrial Revolution. By the end of the 19th century, Britain was the wealthiest of all nations and London a leading financial centre. London still tops the world rankings on both the Global Financial Centres Index and The Global Cities Index.
London's largest industry is finance, and its financial exports make it a large contributor to the UK's balance of payments. Around 325,000 people were employed in financial services in London until mid-2007. London has over 480 overseas banks, more than any other city in the world. It is also the world's biggest currency trading centre, accounting for some 37 percent of the $5.1 trillion average daily volume, according to the BIS. Over 85 percent (3.2 million) of the employed population of greater London work in the service industries. Because of its prominent global role, London's economy had been affected by the financial crisis of 2007–2008. However, by 2010 the City has recovered; put in place new regulatory powers, proceeded to regain lost ground and re-established London's economic dominance. Along with professional services headquarters, the City of London is home to the Bank of England, London Stock Exchange, and Lloyd's of London insurance market.
Over half of the UK's top 100 listed companies (the FTSE 100) and over 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies have their headquarters in central London. Over 70 per cent of the FTSE 100 are within London's metropolitan area, and 75 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have offices in London.