UK financial services spread beyond London

The UK's financial services sector has created a quarter of a million jobs in a decade - more than half of them outside London - according to a new report.

close up shot of a digital stock market tracking graph follwing a recent crash in prices
The report from TheCityUK - the trade body representing the financial and related professional services industry - showed that more than two-thirds of the 2.2 million jobs in the sector were now to be found in towns and cities outside the capital.
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Financial sector thriving in UK's regions

According to data in the report, Enabling Growth Across the UK 2022, there was a 12.5 per cent increase in employment numbers over the decade to 2020.All regions and nations across the UK saw the value of their financial and related professional services' output grow by between 15 and 49 per cent, the report said.The largest growth in economic output outside of London was seen in Wales (up 46 per cent), the East of England (45 per cent) and Northern Ireland (37 per cent). The North West, Northern Ireland and the East of England showed the greatest percentage increases in local employment outside the capital, recording rises of 26 per cent, 19 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.And although London firmly remained the UK’s largest financial centre in 2020, almost half the industry’s £238 billion economic contribution came from outside the capital, notably from cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester, each of which now has more than 30,000 financial and related professional services jobs.

Skills clusters

Launching the report at KPMG's base in Leeds, Miles Celic, CEO of TheCityUK, said:  “This country’s financial and related professional services industry is a true UK-wide success story - one that brings growth and jobs to every part of the UK.The report pointed out that there are several key clusters of different financial and related professional services activities across the UK.After London, Birmingham is the second largest centre overall for financial and related professional services; Manchester is the UK’s biggest legal services and accounting centre; Edinburgh is a major international location for fund management; Edinburgh and Glasgow are important homes for the insurance sector; Vand Bristol has a significant legal services presence.

Devolution could boost growth long term

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said at the report's launch: "Mayors across England provide a vehicle for investing in skills, infrastructure and business support."If we were given greater long-term funding, powers to tackle the climate emergency locally and timely delivery of vital infrastructure projects we could do more."Further devolution would empower mayors to make decisions to make our regions more productive and resilient, making a greater contribution to the UK economy, for the benefit of all our people.“The financial and professional services industry has a key role to play in driving forward our regional economies. I look forward to working closely with businesses on these objectives to deliver a more prosperous West Yorkshire and a stronger UK economy.”

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