Hong Kong's 118-floor International Commerce Centre now reaching for the skies in Kowloon will end Two IFC's reign as the city's tallest building when it is completed in 2010. Its imposing views across the harbour and glittering new office accommodation could also provide an irresistible drawcard to blue-chip banking tenants and usurp Central as the new financial district, industry insiders say. But judging by the evolution of financial districts in other cities, notably London's rival centre Canary Wharf, both sides of the Hong Kong harbour could be winners. The move by many banks and financial firms to Canary Wharf from London's centuries-old Square Mile in the 1990s occurred for many of the same reasons that investment banker Morgan Stanley, for instance, is planning to move to Kowloon's ICC - space and efficiency. China-Britain Business Council chairman Sir David Brewer said Canary Wharf, the city's former dockland, had provided much needed expansion room for the country's financial industry. 'The City of London had height restrictions so we could not have buildings in the area of 30 to 40 floors,' Sir David said. 'This limited the supply of office space and there was a strong demand to develop another financial centre.' Big-name tenants including Barclays, HSBC and Reuters took the opportunity offered by Canary Wharf and relocated, although about 300,000 financial professionals still work in the historic Square Mile, compared with 80,000 at Canary Wharf. John Stuttard, the lord mayor of the City of London, said Canary Wharf was not a competitor to the Square Mile in terms of fighting for tenants. 'The Square Mile and Canary Wharf are complementary to each other, not competitors,'' he said. Law firm Clifford Chance moved about 3,000 staff from the Square Mile to Canary Wharf in 2004 and partner Roger Best said most staff were happy with the relocation, although some were unhappy about higher transport costs and commuting time. Similar concerns have been voiced by employees in Hong Kong, who are worried the move to the ICC may cost them more in terms of time and money when they travel to meet clients in Central. But Mr Best, who worked in the Hong Kong office of Clifford Chance in Central for seven years, believed another financial centre in Kowloon would work well. Jake Smith, a vice-president and head of marketing at FXMarketSpace who previously worked for banks in the City of London, said a major benefit of the move to Canary Wharf was that staff could be consolidated in a single location. For Kowloon to emerge as a complementary centre to Central, Mr Smith said it would be important to ensure that concerns regarding time and money spent commuting were addressed.