Driving competitiveness - Securing the UK’s position as the location of choice for financial and related professional services

The findings of this research report clearly show an amber warning light now flashing over the attractiveness of the UK as a place to set up and grow a financial and related professional services business.

While an exodus of staff has not yet been seen, the deteriorating position of the UK relative to other financial centres is starting to have an impact and urgent action is needed before a tipping point is reached.

The purpose of this report is to help policymakers better understand the factors that drive the location decisions taken by larger international firms. In the UK there has been a great deal of debate about the domicile-intentions of firms in financial and professional services, and this report is the first evidence based response to that discussion. In collecting the evidence it became apparent that discussions about location are now much more part of the boardroom agenda than before the financial crisis – and this in itself is a message about the fluidity of the situation.

Given the troubled economic outlook for continental Europe, the increased costs of operation due to regulatory measures designed to promote stability, and the faster growth rates in other parts of the world, firms are being required to consider anew where and how they deploy their capital. This report tries to shine a light on those areas where the UK Government can take practical steps to retain the existing players, move the UK into a more competitive position, and, encouragingly, further enhance the near-shoring strategy which is showing positive results.