Financial and professional services industry contributes £176bn to the UK economy

 
William Turvill
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There are estimated to be 2.2m financial and professional services employees in the UK (Source: Getty)

Financial and related professional services workers contribute 1.5 times more to the economy than the average UK employee, a new report today reveals.

Financial services employees contribute £79,500 gross value added (GVA), above the average of £52,000 across other sectors.

A report from TheCityUK today also reveals that the industry makes up 10.7 per cent of the UK economy, contributing £176bn in 2015.

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The industry employs 7.3 per cent of the UK’s working population, totalling more than 2.2m people. TheCityUK report also highlights that financial services remain the UK’s largest tax paying sector, contributing 11.5 per cent of the total.

Financial and related professional services employees (2015)
Sector Number (thousands)
Banking 421
Insurance 315
Fund management 41
Legal services 311
Management consultancy 477
Accounting services 382
Other financial services 268
Total 2215

The industry is also the UK’s largest exporter, running a trade surplus of around £72bn.

“As the UK’s largest generator of tax revenues and the source of the country’s largest trade surplus, financial and related professional services are of strategic economic importance,” said Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK.

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“In the post-Brexit environment, it will be more important than ever for policymakers to work in tandem with the industry to ensure it remains competitive, can continue to serve customers and clients, and can underpin Britain’s success in the years ahead.”

Mark Field, Tory MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, told City A.M.: “I would imagine that the sector is very much in the government’s mind [in the Brexit negotiations]. They recognise the importance of financial services, not just to the City, but of course as a huge, important [sector] for supporting jobs and growth across the UK. I think it’s very much at the forefront of the government’s mind.”

Clive Cunningham, financial services regulatory partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, said:

Finding a workable cross-border trade solution for the UK financial services industry should clearly be a top priority in the Brexit negotiations.

UK-based firms with EU business need early certainty that they can still access EU based customers and markets, without extra local regulatory burdens.

Non-UK firms who rely on the UK as a major financial hub also need reassurance that they can still do business here.

Achieving these objectives would probably leave minimum room for deregulation in the UK, short term at least.

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