UK’s Competitiveness as a Global Financial Centre - August 2015

TheCityUK’s new report assessing the competitiveness of the UK’s financial services shows the strong performance of the sector, alongside raising some concerns about the broader economic environment. In the first quarter of 2015 real GDP growth slowed from the strong pace registered in the previous quarter, but remained positive.

The indicators selected for The UK’s Competitiveness as a Global Financial Centre provide a snapshot of the state of the UK financial services market, and sets this in the international context. The first part of the report analyses indicators of financial services business volumes; higher volumes can be interpreted as a sign of the UK’s continued or increasing competitiveness in this industry. The report then examines the supporting economic environment; the five categories covered in this section are selected drivers of competitiveness.

By examining both cause and effect, the report presents a quarterly picture of financial services activity and some of its associated drivers, and tracks how these compare to factors of competitiveness in other leading financial centres, and how these have changed over time.

Key findings from the report include:

  1. The UK has registered 9 consecutive quarters of positive GDP growth
  2. Financial Services accounted for almost half of total FDI flows into the UK. £21.3bn out of £43.7bn
  3. The UK dominated European M&A activity in Q1, accounting for fully 41% ($75bn) of total European deal value of $185bn
  4. London also accounted for 28% of the funds raised in Q1 2015
  5. In terms of international listings, The London Stock Exchange is 2nd only to New York; the LSE had 298 international listings, compared with 523 on the NYSE and 357 on the NASDAQ OMX, and 123 on Euronext.