Finance for growth in the UK

Across the UK, financial and related professional services play a pivotal role in creating a strong economy. This report makes clear that these services are of significant benefit not just to London and the South East, but to local economies throughout the UK. In turn, other towns and cities play a critical role in making the UK an attractive target for foreign direct investment, allowing the UK to compete successfully internationally.

As well as providing support functions that underpin all other sectors, financial and related professional services are a major contributor to growth and employment in their own right. The industry employs over two million people in the UK, two thirds of whom work outside London, representing over 7% of total employment. On average, these employees contribute £85,000 per year to the economy – 70% more than the average for other industries – and together they contribute 12% of UK GDP. In 2013 almost 34,000 new jobs were created in the industry, with around half of those being established outside London.

Taking each region and nation in turn, this report explores the spread of employment and gross value added throughout the UK, and looks at how industry functions are spread across the country. The case studies illustrate the benefits that companies have identified for locating their operations beyond the traditional centre of the City of London, and what makes other towns and cities successful in competing for investment. They also tell the personal stories of apprentices and graduates who have been given a head start by the industry, and of firms in the wider economy that have been supported by it.

Keeping the UK economy strong and globally competitive will be a key policy challenge for the foreseeable future. As this report illustrates, financial and related professional services are making
a major contribution to enabling prosperity and sustained economic growth across the UK.