UK industry body unveils five-year strategy to catch US and Asia
Financial services body TheCityUK has unveiled a five-year plan to make the UK the world’s leading international financial centre.
The “Making the UK the leading global financial centre” strategy says the UK should focus on boosting market share in areas in which the UK has an advantage, such as fintech.
The strategy also calls for the UK to focus on promising future areas of global growth where the UK is already competitive, such as data, technology, global ESG markets, international investment opportunities and risk management.
It claims these moves will help make the UK more competitive, deepen trade links and help the UK catch up with the explosive growth of financial centres in Asia and the US.
TheCityUK says that over the past decade the UK has shrunk relative to international competitors, resulting in the loss of global market share in some areas of financial services.
For example, cross-border bank lending fell from 17.8% in 2010 to 15.2% in 2020, even as total UK annual cross-border lending rose from $5.3tn (£3.8tn) to $5.4tn (£3.9tn).
Similarly, hedge fund assets fell from 20.7% in 2010 to 14% in 2019, even as UK hedge fund assets grew from $290bn (£209bn) to $447bn (£323bn).
TheCityUK has worked with firms, business groups and partners across the industry and says delivering the strategy will create “high-skilled, high-value” jobs and attract foreign direct investment, positioning the UK as “a leader in financing the growth of the green economy”.
The industry body says financial services contribute over 10% of the UK’s economic output and employs more than 2.3 million people, with two thirds of jobs outside London.
TheCityUK CEO, Miles Celic, says the UK’s financial services industry is a “strategic national asset” but one of the greatest risks for any successful financial centre is complacency.
“Europe is littered with cities that were once the leading international centre of their day.
“The last decade has been one of growth for our industry, yet global competitors have grown faster. However, with the right strategy in place and a clear focus on delivery, the UK can pull away once again from its competitors.”