City Corporation calls on Labour to promote regional financial services

The City of London Corporation is calling on the Labour Party to support and promote the growth of financial services across the UK, after new analysis revealed the sizeable contribution of regional financial services industries to the wider economy.

The City Corporation’s analysis of ONS data showed that Edinburgh tops the list of UK city-regions when it comes to finance’s share of local services exports. Edinburgh’s finance industry accounts for almost half (49 per cent) of all its services exports, totalling £3,411m.

Other city-regions’ finance sectors like Birmingham’s also make a significant contribution to the local economy, with the sector accounting for 39 per cent (£2,300m) of all services exports in the West Midlands, while Leeds’ (West Yorkshire) financial services industry also accounts for 39 per cent (£2,016m) of all services exports in the area.

Analysis of other joint authorities revealed:

  • Greater Manchester has £2,541m financial services exports, which accounts for 31 per cent of all its services exports.
  • Glasgow has £2,087m financial services exports, which accounts for 37 per cent of all its service exports.
  • Cardiff has £1,715m financial services exports, which accounts for 31 per cent of all its services exports.

The services sector is overwhelmingly dominant in terms of its contribution to economic output and jobs, with 79 per cent of total UK economic output and 83 per cent of jobs.

The UK as a whole exports £78bn in financial services. But there is significant room for growth in the regions when compared with London, which has £39bn worth of financial services exports.

Further City Corporation analysis also showed that productivity of the regional financial services centres is much higher than other industries. Outside of London, Yorkshire and the Humber leads the way, with financial services output per job two times higher in productivity than the average of all industries in the region. In London, the sector is 2.4 times more productive.

The City Corporation is aiming to boost the local economy through its own regional strategy, which is helping to increase inward investment and build awareness of how London can act as a springboard for regional firms to export their products and services globally.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City Corporation, said:

“Financial services hubs up and down the country play a crucial role in driving prosperity nationwide. With two thirds of financial services jobs outside of London, it comes as no surprise that these centres are making significant contributions to their local economies.

“But there is still untapped potential in these regions for growth. With our departure from the European Union on the horizon, it is more important than ever that our cities work together to further unlock the potential of the UK regional economy.

“That is why we are calling on the Labour Party to promote growth of these regional financial hubs, so that they can help create greater shared prosperity across the country.”

Today [23 September], the City Corporation will host a roundtable at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, focusing on inclusive regional growth and the regional financial services industries.

Alongside the City Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness, Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Inclusive Growth, will address and audience of business figures, politicians, and academics. The event will be chaired by IPPR Chief Economist and Head of the Centre for Economic Justice, Carys Roberts.

This will be followed by a dinner where Cllr Peter John OBE, Chair of London Councils, will be delivering remarks on inclusive growth and Brexit.


Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

The regional strategy involves the City of London Corporation engaging with cities in a number of ways, including:

  • Inward investment: For firms looking to increase their domestic presence, the City Corporation can help facilitate the process of expanding their operations across the UK;
  • Trade links: As part of their extensive programme of international travel, both the Lord Mayor of the City of London and the Policy Chair will invite representatives from the regions to join them in meeting senior representatives on the visits;
  • International outlook: Building awareness of the opportunities and expertise London provides to UK-based firms to export their products and services globally.

About the analysis:

Exports analysis used ONS data reported at joint authority level, except for Leeds which refers to West Yorkshire:

  • Cardiff Capital Region
  • Greater Manchester
  • Edinburgh and South East Scotland
  • Glasgow City Region
  • West Midlands
  • West Yorkshire

Productivity analysis used ONS data reported at regional level:

  • North West
  • Yorkshire and the Humber
  • West Midlands
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • London