Financial Services is booming

Britain’s financial services sector is booming louder than King Kong’s chest in mating season.

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But don’t take our word for it: the UK has been revealed as the world’s biggest net exporter of financial services for the tenth year in a row.

The announcement by financial services lobby group TheCityUK claims financial services – if you include accountancy, legal services and management consultancy –reached a whopping $95bn (that’s £65bn in our money) last year.

That’s 4.3% higher than the year before, nearly double its 2015 value of $56bn (£36bn) and $59bn (£38bn) higher than its nearest competitor the US ($36bn (£23bn)).

Our domestic financial centres have a long history of dealing with foreign clients to offer services such as insurance, mortgages, banking and brokerage.

Where the UK is leading the charge today is in offering added value to the investment through competitive pricing and a lucrative market – as well as having a balanced domestic economy.

Traditional smaller financial hubs simply don’t have the economic clout to rival the UK. Meantime, foreign banks have also set up headquarters around the UK where they can offer services to investors and clients abroad.

In fact, the UK has more foreign banks than any other sector – with an astonishing 1400 firms from around 80 countries. In April 2013, it traded 41% of global foreign exchange and more dollars than even the Americans.

London, as you would expect, is the big player in all of this. But Scotland has a proud history, too, that stretches back more than 300 years – the Bank of Scotland was created way back in 1695.

Today, Edinburgh and Glasgow stand as our strongest financial centres. Aberdeen and Dundee, however, also offer industry-leading services that attract foreign investment.

And the Mortgage Advisors, Financial Advisors and Bank Managers who laid the foundations for this sector play just an important role in Scotland’s sector today.

As do the vast army of associated roles that help support it: Analysts, Auditors, Pensions Experts . . . the list is almost endless.

With no independent source of information breaking down Scotland’s role, it’s hard to ascertain just how much of a slice of the foreign export pie we take. However, we do know financial services contribute 11% to our own economy and generate in the region of 150,000 jobs in areas such as investment, management and banking.

This means that, whether exporting or keeping our financial services in-house, the numbers are stacked in our favour.

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