UK Financial Services and Insurance exports surge to record high of £82bn

Exports from UK financial services and insurance firms soared to a record high of £82bn last year, up from £78bn in 2017, according to new data published in the ONS Pink Book today.

The UK’s financial services and insurance trade balance also increased from £61bn to £63bn in 2018. This trade surplus – the largest of any UK services sector by far – plays an important role in helping to balance the UK’s trade in goods deficit, which stood at over £142bn.

The sector’s trade with the European Union rose from £30bn in 2017 to £32.6bn in 2018, with the share of financial services and insurance exports going to this market also climbing from 39 per cent to 40 per cent.

Beyond the EU, exports to key markets increased, including the US (up from £20.7bn in 2017 to £21.7bn in 2018), Japan (£4bn to £4.4bn), Canada (£1.8bn to £2bn). Overall trade with non-EU countries actually rose from £47.6bn to £49.6bn.

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

“The success of UK financial services and insurance firms in exporting across the globe plays a vital role in balancing our trade deficit. It also helps to support jobs around the country, as well as providing the finance and services needed by our international partners.

“An increasing proportion of these exports are going to the European Union, which only underscores the need for the UK and EU to work together to both avoid a no-deal Brexit and secure a future trading framework that reflects the importance of our relationship.

“A positive partnership on services with Europe will mean that the sector is able to create jobs, generate tax, and support growth across the wider economy, to the benefit of businesses and consumers on both sides of the Channel.”

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.

A summary of the ONS Pink Book 2018 including overall figures on UK exports of financial services can be found here.

Further details on financial services and insurance exports can be found on the ONS website.