The UK retains top spot in international financial services trade

TheCityUK has today published its 2017 compendium of economic statistics detailing the UK’s position within the global financial marketplace.

The UK is world’s leading exporter of financial and related professional services. In 2016 the UK-based industry netted a total trade surplus of US $93.6bn (£69bn), more than the next two leading countries, the US and Switzerland, combined. This achievement underlines the tremendous value of the industry to the UK economy, making it a true national asset.

The report, ‘Key Facts about the UK as an International Financial Centre 2017’, underscores many of the facts which make London and the UK the world’s foremost financial and related professional services centre.

Britain is the world’s leading centre for foreign exchange trading (37% global market share); it is the number one location for cross border bank lending (16% global market share) and also for international insurance premium income (6% global market share). The UK legal services sector is the largest in Europe and second only to the US globally.

Anjalika Bardalai, Chief Economist and Head of Research, TheCityUK, said,

The UK’s place in the global financial system is unparalleled. London’s only real rival as a full-spectrum, truly global centre is New York. However, we cannot take this position for granted. Brexit is likely to create some economic friction with our largest trading partner - the EU and with an increasing number of regional and specialist centres arising in Asia and elsewhere - it is vital that the UK seek new trading and investment opportunities. While markets like China and India are growing fast, trade flows are still relatively small, indicating potential for the future.

As well as the bringing together the latest economic data on sectors such as banking, insurance, fund management, legal services, accounting and many more sub-sectors, the report also provides an insight into the UK’s financial services trade and investment relationships with markets such as the US, China, Japan and India. While the US and the EU remain the two most important markets for the industry’s exports, developing markets also show high growth potential.

Other key facts from the report:
• UK banking sector assets are the largest in Europe at US$8trn (£5.9trn)
• UK accounting services net exports were US$1.6bn (£1.2bn)
• The UK accounts for 7% of global legal services fee revenue. Between $580bn and US$640bn (£428bn-£472bn)
• The value of international bonds in the UK was US$2.9trn (£2.14trn) in 2016. The largest in the world.
• There are a record US$11trn (£8.1trn) in assets under management in the UK
• On average US$24.3bn of gold and US$3bn of silver is traded every day at the London Bullion Market Association