AEC implications and opportunities for UK F&RPS

TheCityUK and Accenture have published a new report entitled ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) implications and opportunities for UK financial and related professional services. The research considers future trade and investment opportunities and challenges for financial and related professional services firms in the ASEAN region.

The report highlights that the UK-based financial and related professional services industry has expertise that puts it in a good position to help the development of the region while benefiting from the business potential the region offers.

  • Within five years ASEAN aggregate GDP is projected to rise by more than one-third to US$3.4 trillion - bigger than India’s - driven by rising intra-regional trade, massive infrastructure development and the rapid adoption of digital technologies. Highlights from the report include:
  • Increased trade flows between ASEAN countries will boost demand for transaction banking and foreign exchange services, while rapid infrastructure development offers opportunities in project finance and syndicated lending. 
  • The development of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector will boost potential for commercial banking and for more bond and equity issuance as growing companies turn to the capital markets.
  • Growing digital usage and improved connectivity will also create opportunities for mass-market wealth and asset management services and the insurance industry stands to benefit from the increased need for protection by both households and businesses. 
  • This growth in financial markets will in turn lead to increased demand for related professional services, such as legal and accounting work. 
  • There are challenges in the region, including the lack of an integrated financial market in the region and political and currency instability. However, as the report highlights, if these are overcome – and with the added momentum of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) – the opportunities for financial and related professional services firms are significant.
  • TheCityUK has created a new market advisory group of senior business practitioners to help realise these opportunities. Accenture chairs the group.