Scotland’s financial services sector has seen rising exports for a decade – TheCityUK report

TheCityUK study also found that Scotland’s financial services exports accounted for 7.6% of Britain’s total financial services exports in 2020.

The industry body estimates that exports of related professional services from north of the border accounted for 4.2% of Britain’s total exports of related professional services.

According to the report, all regions and countries in the UK generated trade surpluses in financial services in 2020. London recorded the largest financial services trade surplus at £34 billion, followed by the South East England (£5.1 billion) and Scotland (£4.6 billion).

Scottish financial and related professional services accounted for some £8.8bn in exports in 2020. Picture: Jon Savage

Anjalika Bardalai, Chief Economist and Head of Research at TheCityUK, said: “As London is one of the world’s leading international financial centres, it inevitably leads the UK in exports of financial and related professional services. But the idea that only London sells these services overseas and the rest of the UK focuses on domestic business is misleading.

“Scotland makes a significant contribution to exports of financial and related professional services, demonstrating the vital economic role the industry plays in all parts of the country.

“Furthermore, as the UK braces for an economic storm, the surplus generated by financial and related professional services provides an important buffer against the risks of a growing trade deficit.”

Sandy Begbie, Managing Director of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said: “This report shows the phenomenal growth in exports of financial and related professional services from Scotland over the past decade to 2020. It highlights the significant contribution of this industry to our national economy, bringing growth and jobs.

In terms of destination of UK financial services exports, 71% went to non-EU countries and the remaining 29% went to the EU in 2020.

For the UK, the US was by far the largest destination for financial services exports, TheCityUK noted, accounting for 34% of total financial services exports in 2020. Other notable non-EU destinations for industrial exports were the Japan (3.5%) and Canada (3.4 percent).

Some 27% of Scottish financial services exports went to the EU in 2020, and the remaining 73% went to the rest of the world.

TheCityUK is the industry-led body representing UK-based financial and related professional services.

A report last year suggested Scotland was becoming increasingly attractive to overseas financial services companies looking to establish new bases.

Although the six foreign direct investments (FDI) in the sector recorded in Scotland in 2020 were two fewer than the previous year, the country has fared better than the UK as a whole over the toughest year in recent history and continued its decade-long trend. as the most attractive UK location outside of London.

EY in the UK Attractiveness survey for Financial Services also found that the attractiveness of Scotland for future investment in the UK increased from 5% in 2019 to 15% in 2021.

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