To paraphrase the comedy legend, Billy Connolly: "Never trust a man who, when left alone with a tea cosy, doesn't try it out for size."
He had a point. And this same sense of innovation is not lost on Scotland's financial sector. Over the decades major multinationals have tried Scotland out for size, and found it a perfect fit for their business.
From Barclays to Blackrock, ATOS to JP Morgan, Mitsubishi to Morgan Stanley, over 3,900 inward investors have chosen to make Scotland their home. Over £800bn in asset funds are managed here.
Amongst those 3,900 companies, 600 are financial and business services companies, serviced by more than 86,000 financial services professionals. In 2015, Scotland attracted the most Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) after London. (Source EY Attractiveness Survey)
Why are 600 financial and business services companies already based in Scotland?
From banking and investment, insurance and pensions to fintech, Scotland boasts an established financial hub, spanning its major cities. These are close-knit and highly-connected. Scotland’s thriving financial centre, with its proximity and transport links to London, is a complementary near-shore location, offering further commercial opportunities across the two locations.
Key attractions of the sector
- Office operating costs in Scotland are cost effective compared with London (Financial Times FDI Benchmark Report)
- Scotland witnessed a record-breaking number of FDI projects in 2015; an increase of 51 per cent on the year before, and second only to London in the level of investment secured, according to the EY Attractiveness Survey which also found that:
- Companies are continuing to invest or expand their operations into Scotland
- Scotland has access to a highly-skilled and qualified workforce across many aspects of the financial sector
Depth and breadth in financial services
Scotland welcomes financial services companies that are considering complementary, lower cost locations for a range of business operations, including middle and back office functions.
Scottish Development International (SDI) can provide financial grants to help financial businesses grow, and connect operations with the right people and business locations.
As globally-engaged locations are concerned, Scotland offers talent, business infrastructure, access to academia and a supportive global business network. Large global financial companies that are already located in Scotland include Aberdeen Asset Management, RBS and State Street.