Financial services productivity was nearly twice as high as productivity in the UK economy as a whole in 2019; output per worker at £114,793 vs £58,261 respectively, according to a new report from TheCityUK. This gives the industry a key role to play in realising the Prime Minister’s ambition of a “high-skill, high-wage” economy.
TheCityUK’s latest report, ‘Enabling growth across the UK 2021’, found that this differential in output per worker was present in all parts of the UK, and is especially striking in Scotland (£112,585 vs £55,75)1 and London (£162,360 vs £81,408), the West Midlands (£89,680 vs £50,774), and the North West (£88,011 vs £51,559).
The report also examines the total contribution the industry and its composite sectors make to the UK’s nations, regions, towns, and cities. It shows of the 2.3 million people in industry employment – 1 in 14 British jobs – two thirds of these are based outside London. This is roughly equivalent to the entire populations of Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh combined.
Financial and related professional services contributed £193.8bn to the UK economy in 2019, representing 9.8% of total GVA for the UK as a whole, with similar contributions to local town and city economies across the country.
The ‘Enabling growth across the UK’ report, also found that there are several key clusters of financial and related professional services activities across the UK:
- Major UK centres with more than 30,000 people in employment within the financial and related professional services industry include Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester. Overall, 21 towns and cities in the UK each have more than 10,000 people in employment in the industry.
- The West Midlands has a significant concentration of activity in banking and management consulting. This was still strengthened by the establishment of HSBC UK headquarters in Birmingham, as well as the recent opening of a new office in the city by Goldman Sachs
- Scotland is rapidly becoming a global leader in FinTech and is well positioned to capitalise on its data-driven innovation with the support of FinTech Scotland
- The East of England is a hub for the insurance and accountancy sectors, and Norwich is one of the largest general insurance markets outside London. Cambridge is also home to a large concentration of venture capital investors’ headquarters
- The North West is a particular centre for asset and wealth management and management consulting, and is also the second largest legal centre in the UK after London