UK’s financial and professional services firms giving more back to society than ever before

The UK’s financial and professional services (FPS) sector is giving more back to society through volunteering, donations and fundraising than ever before, a report says.

The research into corporate giving, undertaken by the City of London Corporation, estimates that the UK’s FPS sector contributed nearly one million hours of volunteering time last year and gave £534.5million to charitable causes, compared to £505million in the 2008 study.

Firms representing 19% of UK employees in FPS responded to the survey. These companies undertook 908,625 hours of volunteering in the community in 2017, averaging 23,300 hours per business. The average volunteering time per employee was 3.7 hours.

95% of the firms gave a breakdown of their giving by cause. By far the most popular causes were education and young people (95%) and social welfare (79%), followed by health (63%) and economic development (50%).

The largest majority of firms gave volunteering and money in London, closely followed by the South East. Across the UK more widely, 60% gave in the North West and the West Midlands, and 57% in Yorkshire, with the majority of businesses (79%) giving in more than one region. Regions which received the lowest levels of giving were in Wales and Northern Ireland, with 46% each. The majority of businesses (79%) gave in more than one region; 38% of businesses gave in every region across the UK.

The research showed a clear relationship between giving money and volunteering. Those firms who gave more also volunteered more.

Charles Bowman, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, commented:

“We live in a world where trust is low, but expectations are high. People want to see the role of business in society increase.

“It is, therefore, now more important than ever for firms to leverage their resources, people and finances to help create a fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable society.

“We need to recognise and celebrate financial and professional services companies that make a positive difference to people and inspire more firms to widen their roles in society. We hope that this work will strengthen public trust in the sector and above all, support communities and make positive change.”

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, added:

“Firms are giving more back to the community and they should be commended for the progress they have made.

“The figures show businesses are putting in a lot more effort to make the greatest impact, motivating staff to want to get involved and play their part. This is a significant step forward.

“We want to make London a fairer place to work and live. And we have a responsibility to do this not only through what we give in terms of volunteering and donations but also through how we act within our organisations.”

Accompanying research commissioned by the City of London Corporation and Carried out by Corporate Citizenship, titled Community investment: four routes to impact, also looked at the motivation and drivers for FPS giving and how firms are making the most impact through their community giving programmes.

The research also reflects the priorities of the City of London Corporation’s Business of Trust programme, which was launched by Lord Mayor Charles Bowman in November 2017. It aims to improve the trustworthiness of the UK’s financial and professional services sector and create a lasting legacy of better business trusted by society

The City Corporation and its associated charities donate around £55 million every year to charitable causes. This includes £20 million each year through its charitable funder City Bridge Trust.

It works closely with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, which runs City Giving Day on September 25, a celebration of the City of London’s philanthropic and responsible business activities.


Media Enquiries

Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

07710860884 / 020 7332 1125

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

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. 

In September, the Centre for London will be launching research at the Guildhall into Giving and Social investment in London

Further information on City Bridge Trust can be found here :

Further information on The Lord Mayor’s Appeal can be found here :