Key facts about the UK as an international financial centre 2021

Although economic activity has recovered this year, the full extent of the economic impact of Covid-19 remains unknown—not least because the pandemic has yet to run its course.

Nevertheless, nearly two years after the onset of the pandemic, the UK remains one of the world’s leading international financial and related professional services hubs. This annual report uses the latest available data to highlight a number of measures and markets that demonstrate the UK’s role as an international financial centre.

The UK retains the leading share of trading in many international financial markets, such as foreign exchange trading, cross border bank lending and international insurance premium income. Metrics and developments such as these are a testament to the UK’s global competitive advantage in financial services, and this report demonstrates the country’s role as one of the world’s leading international financial centres.

The UK's trade surplus in financial and related professional services is


The UK has


of the global total of foreign-exchange turnover

the US is the largest single destination for the UK's financial services exports, accounting for 34.2% of exports. As a bloc, EU member states accounted for 30%

Over 240 active sustainable bonds were listed on the LSE from over 60 issuers in 2020, which have raised around



2.5 times

as many US dollars are traded in the UK as in the US

Foreign companies were listed on the London stock exchange (LSE)*, accounting for 15.5% of total EMEA and 7.6% of global foreign listing

*September 2021

The Islamic banking and finance industry in the UK is ranked 18th out of 48 countries and 1st in Europe and among non-Muslim-majority nations

The LSE had a 4.4% share of global equity market capitalisation and 2% of global equity trading by value 

Around half of financial services exports originate outside London

The UK private equity market is the most developed in the world outside the US. UK private equity funds invested £29.5bn the largest amount in Europe, in 2020

The UK fintec market generated revenue worth £6.6bn and employed 76,500 people as of the first half of 2020