Scotland has reclaimed its previously long-held position as the top UK location for financial services foreign direct investment outside London, a survey has revealed.
Accountancy firm EY’s survey shows London remained the most attractive UK destination for financial services FDI in 2022, attracting 46 projects. Scotland was in second place, recording eight projects, which was up from three in 2021.
Publishing its latest financial services attractiveness survey, EY noted: “Scotland has been the second-placed...for financial services FDI – at least jointly – for nine of the last 10 years, with the exception of 2021.”
Third-placed in 2022 was north-west England, with six projects.
Of the eight Scottish wins, five were expansions of existing projects while three were new undertakings.
Edinburgh accounted for three expansions and two new projects. Glasgow attracted two expansions and one new project.
EY is due to publish its full FDI attractiveness survey for Scotland later this month.
Sue Dawe, EY Scotland’s managing partner for financial services, said: “This is great news for Scotland’s financial services sector. Scotland has deep roots in financial services, and it is positive that we can report improved investor confidence and growth in foreign direct investment projects. To see a solid mix of both new and expanded financial services projects in our major cities – as well as our return to being the top location outside London – shows that Scotland is delivering for investors.”
She added: “Looking to the future, financial services investors remain confident in Scotland. The number of projects is only one metric in FDI attractiveness, and over the years the significance and scale of individual projects in Scotland – particularly in financial services – is both notable and impressive. With links between Scotland and London remaining strong, it's clear that the two locations – which have historically held the top two spots in the UK league tables – can benefit from each other's successes.”
Sandy Begbie, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise said: “Scotland’s financial services industry has a number of major strengths for investors, from depth, breadth, and maturity of our ecosystem to talent and innovation, to our increasingly strong reputation as a global centre for green finance and fintech.
“We also recognise that we are in an increasingly competitive domestic and international marketplace, leaving no room for complacency.”