This work is a continuation of the themes developed by the authors (Bystryakov and Rasskazov 2014), (Ponomarenko and Rasskazov 2017). The objective of this paper is to compare the development of international financial centers (IFCs) and financial systems of the IFCs’ home-based countries. The study identified the main trends in competition between financial centers over the period from 2010 to 2016: 1. New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo had been holding the leading positions in IFCs’ rating more than 5 years, the TOP 5 was stable. 2. A trend to the dominance of North American centres in the global financial market. 3. The greatest progress had been achieved by the financial centres of the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi). 4. The largest IFCs in continental Europe was under pressure from competing North American and Asian centres. 5. There are different trends Among the BRICS: The centres in mainland China failed to gain a foothold in the TOP 10, while Mumbai (India) has shown the greatest progress over the 5 years in the overall ranking among BRICS; Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Moscow (Russia) positions remained stable. The authors have also reviewed the theoretical question of the relationship between the economic growth and the development of financial markets. © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.