International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, told Ministers, business leaders and delegates at the UK’s Financial Centres of Excellence conference that financial services are one of the UK’s big export success stories and that the regions have a big part to play in maintaining its success.
At the conference, ministers committed to supporting 8 regional ‘centres of excellence’ to capitalise on opportunities for global investment – following a record year for inward investment to the UK.
The North West is one of the 8 regions looking to exploit export and investment opportunities for its financial services sector.
The International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, was joined by ministers from the Treasury, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Office to highlight the huge potential beyond London for the UK’s world-leading financial services sector and the opportunities this presents global investors.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “Financial services are one of the UK’s big export success stories, and our global reputation is underpinned by the talent and expertise on offer across the country.
“We have a unique opportunity as we open up to new markets, to strengthen this position and grow further. This initiative is key to ensuring that opportunity is available in all our regions as we support our financial centres of excellence.”
Dr Liam Fox highlighted the UK’s determination to lead free trade in the world and open up new markets, with the government’s new Financial Services Trade and Investment Board supporting UK firms to expand internationally.
Financial services exports
The financial services sector already leads UK exports, namely:
- financial and related professional services have the UK’s largest export surplus, more than double that of the US, Switzerland or Luxembourg
- the sector employs 7% of the country’s workforce and constitute 12% of its economy
Miles Celic, Chief Executive of TheCityUK which co-hosted the conference, said: “There are 2.2 million jobs in UK-based financial and related professional services. Two thirds of these are outside the M25, with many of our members employing significant numbers of people in cities and towns across the country.
“Britain’s regions and nations play a huge role in driving innovation and prosperity, each with very specific clusters of expertise which, when taken together, help to make the UK such an attractive place to invest and do business.”
Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said: “From Edinburgh to Brighton, the regional financial hubs are providing low-cost, high-quality alternatives to London. These hubs play a crucial role in keeping the UK at the forefront of global financial services and the government want to make sure they continue to grow and reach their full potential.”
Industry speakers included Hitachi Capital, Marsh UK & Ireland and BNYMellon, discussing the strengths and expertise in areas such as fintech and disruptive technologies where the cities outside London can become globally recognised centres of excellence.
The 8 financial centres of excellence identified by the Financial Services Organisation (FSO) are: south coast, South West, South Wales, Yorkshire, North West, Midlands, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The UKTI Financial Services Organisation (FSO) helps attract inward investment to the UK and facilitates overseas trade in the financial and related professional service sectors.
Financial Services Organisation is part of the UK Trade & Investment.
The FSO at the Department for International Trade has specialists who can assist financial services businesses on areas including operations, fintech, insurance, professional services, wealth and asset management.
Its policy specialists can advise on issues including tax, immigration, property infrastructure and skills for UK companies looking to export and international investors looking to the UK.
For more information on opportunities for financial services exports and investment visit the FSO website