London leads the world in financial services FDI projects

New data published today shows that London attracted more financial services foreign direct investment (FS FDI) projects than eight other global financial centres in 2017, helping to spread jobs and capital across the UK.

The report published by the City of London Corporation, ‘Global investment: driving UK jobs and growth in financial services’, demonstrates that London secured 55 inbound FS FDI projects in 2017 – more than double the number of Dublin (26), Paris (26), Frankfurt (24) and New York (20) – despite concerns across the sector over Brexit. Between 2013 and 2017, London attracted 246 projects, or 28% of all projects across the nine centres assessed.

London’s success in attracting FS FDI reflects the capital’s position as the world’s leading net exporter of financial services, totalling £68bn in 2017 – more than New York, Luxembourg and Singapore combined.

Financial services attracted more than double the FDI than any other sector in the UK in 2016. Across the country, FS FDI created 16,126 new jobs – almost half of outside London – between 2013-2017 while overseas investment totalled £8.6bn across 392 projects. In insurance and retail banking, over 70% of jobs have been created outside the capital.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation, said:

“The UK financial services sector is a magnet for foreign direct investment, which helps to create jobs and generate major capital projects right across the country.

“The UK leads the world when it comes to exporting financial services and we have a number of strengths that appeal to investors.

“We cannot, however, afford to take this position for granted. Foreign investment flows can shift quickly so it is vital that we secure a positive Brexit deal that provides confidence and clarity for the sector. This will help to attract investment in the future of London and the UK.”

The report finds that the UK’s top investors by number of projects were the US, Sweden and China, while in terms of jobs the top investors were the US, Germany and Sweden. This investment was driven by the UK’s proximity to key markets and customers, domestic market potential, skilled workforce availability and its globally leading financial services cluster.

It is estimated that there are 1.1 million financial services jobs in the UK – two-thirds of these are based outside the capital.

Earlier this year, the City of London Corporation doubled its regional strategy, expanding its engagement with Birmingham, Leeds and Cardiff. This is in addition to the organisation’s existing partnerships with Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester.