Regional financial centres thrive while jobs fall in London and the south east

While UK-based financial and related professional services employment remained stable between 2016 and 2017 at 2.3 million, jobs in London and the South East fell, down 1.3% (10,000 jobs) and 11.4% (32,000 jobs) respectively.

In contrast, other UK financial centres across the country showed strong growth in employment. In Wales, industry jobs increased by 22% (11,000 jobs), in Yorkshire and the Humber jobs were up 17.8% (24,000 jobs), in the East of England they grew 7.3% (12,000 jobs), and in the West Midlands they were up 7.2% (10,000 jobs).

Despite strong employment growth in previous years, Scotland saw a small decline in industry employment, down 3.8%, 6,000 jobs, as did the North West, down a larger 8.4%, 22,000 jobs.

Even with the countrywide fluctuations in employment, TheCityUK’s ‘Enabling Growth across the UK 2019’ report found that most parts of the UK, including London and the South East, enjoyed steady growth in financial and related professional services economic output (GVA), with UK GVA in the industry up 1.7%. London shows the largest year-on-year GVA growth at 4.2%.

While London remains the UK’s largest financial centre, the industry continues to be a vital creator of jobs across the country. Of the 2.3 million jobs in financial and related professional services, two thirds remain located outside of London.

Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said,

This industry is vital for job creation and driving economic output to all parts of the UK, as well as contributing billions in tax revenue. London is central to the UK’s strong position, but it is clear that the many thriving regional and national centres are an essential part of its success. But, this should not be taken for granted. Ensuring the industry’s future as a national asset will require a concerted effort. This includes more regionally focused policies and initiatives, greater focus on developing specialist centres and sectors, a more competitive business environment and enhanced engagement between government and industry.”

In its report, TheCityUK outlines 15 policy recommendations to help bolster the industry’s future success right across the country. These focus on continued collaboration between industry, regulators, and local and policymakers to ensure that the business environment continues to support industry and UK competitiveness.

There are several key clusters of financial and related professional services activities across the UK. After London, Manchester is the UK’s biggest legal services centre; Birmingham the largest centre for management consultancy and the biggest accounting cluster; Edinburgh is the largest centre for banking and a major international location for fund management; and Glasgow and Edinburgh are the biggest insurance centres.

TheCityUK’s network of City Chairs in Bristol, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Greater Manchester and Newcastle will continue to help drive these recommendations forward as they champion and promote the industry within and between their cities and regions and nations.

Financial and related professional services jobs:

Region

Total FRPS Employment 2016

Total FRPS Employment 2017

% Year on year change between 2016 & 2017

Regional/National Employment 2017

North East

47,000

47,000

0.0

4.3

North West

261,000

239,000

-8.4

7.1

Yorkshire and the Humber

135,000

159,000

17.8

6.5

East Midlands

84,000

88,000

4.8

4.1

West Midlands

138,000

148,000

7.2

5.6

East of England

165,000

177,000

7.3

6.2

London

786,000

776,000

-1.3

14.7

South East

281,000

249,000

-11.4

5.9

South West

158,000

165,000

4.4

6.4

Wales

50,000

61,000

22

4.6

Scotland

158,000

152,000

-3.8

5.9

Northern Ireland

33,000

35,000

6.1

4.7

UK

2,296,000

2,296,000

0.0

7.3


Economic contribution (GVA) of the financial and related professional services industry to the regions and nations:

Region

Total FRPS G.V.A £m 2016

Total FRPS G.V.A £m 2017

% Year on year change between 2016 & 2017

% Regional/National G.V.A in 2017

North East

3,277

3,368

2.8

6.3

North West

13,702

13,622

-0.6

7.8

Yorkshire and the Humber

8,631

9,061

5.0

7.8

East Midlands

4,937

5,240

6.1

5.0

West Midlands

9,309

8,896

-4.4

6.7

East of England

10,679

11,402

6.8

7.5

London

85,428

86,775

1.6

20.1

South East

21,281

21,441

0.8

8.0

South West

10,804

10,972

1.6

8.4

Wales

3,849

3,860

0.3

6.2

Scotland

12,747

13,003

2.0

9.4

Northern Ireland

2,173

2,383

9.6

6.0

UK

186,818

190,023

1.7

10.4