TheCityUK has launched its new report 'Key facts about the UK as an international financial centre 2016' revealing the UK’s trade surplus in financial services has reached a record high, up $283m (£185m) year-on-year to reach $97bn (£63.4bn) in 2015.
London and the wider UK is the leading global international financial and related professional services centre. Britain’s trade surplus in financial services of £63bn in 2015, was more than the combined surpluses of the next three leading countries (US, Switzerland and Luxembourg).
The UK has the leading share of trading in many international financial markets such as cross border bank lending (16%), international insurance premium income (29%) and foreign exchange trading (37%). It is also a global leader in providing professional services.
Britain is the heart of Europe’s financial system with London being its pre-eminent financial capital. London’s major competitors include New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore, with Asian centres gaining advantage in recent years from the shifting global trade patterns. At the next level Shanghai and Toronto are being joined by the likes of Istanbul and Dubai as they seek to develop their offerings. This is not a zero sum game. And greater competition is a challenge to companies to innovate and improve services – areas of traditional strength for the UK.