North West hosts vital
financial and related professional services hubs
A new report out from 'The City UK'
underlines the important role UK based financial and related professional
services play in underpinning prosperity in the North West.
Of the 2.2 million people working in the industry, the majority (1.5 million, or
around 66%) work outside London, 215,000 of them based in the North West. This
makes the region the second largest financial and related professional services
centre outside of London in terms of employment. In total, the industry
represents around 6.6% of the region's employment, and contributed 7.3% or
(₤11.5bn) of the region's Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2015.
The City UK's report – 'Enabling Growth across the UK' – shows that while
London remains core to the industry's strong position, major centres like the
North West play a key role in maintaining the UK's place as the world's leading
financial centre. Overall, 21 Towns and cities across the country have in excess
of 10,000 people in employment in the industry including Liverpool. Manchester
is 1 of 5 major centres across the country with more than 30,000 people
employed in financial and related professional services.
The region is a particular centre for asset and wealth management, management
consulting and accountancy. It also has expertise in several fast growing areas
such as the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listings, venture capital
investment, public private partnerships, private wealth management, and maritime
and environmental law.
The North West is also home to the largest legal centre in the UK after London
and has a high proportion of the top 100 law firms outside of London. Employers
in the region have access to a large pool of financial, accountancy, business
management and legal graduates from North West universities, including
Manchester Business School and Lancaster University Management School, as well
as Manchester's College of Law.
Miles Celic, Chief Executive of The City UK, said:- "Our report reinforces
the value delivered by financial and related professional services to the whole
of the UK economy. Firms from across the world come to Britain to do business,
many 1st putting down roots in London and then expanding their operations across
the country, to Cities like Manchester and Liverpool, creating a deeper talent
pool of skilled workers that benefits local and national businesses. In turn,
strong regional financial centres like the North West, boost the attractiveness
of London as a global financial centre. Maintaining this ecosystem is critical
to ensuring the UK remains a world leading place to do business."
The report also highlights where the UK's regions and nations may benefit from
shifting trends in globalisation, particularly in relation to reverse off
As cost differentials between the UK and other lower cost overseas centres
narrow, there is an opportunity to retain or 'win' back middle and back
office functions. Digitalisation also presents a great opportunity for the
industry in centres across the country, bringing new high skilled jobs. Such
jobs have already added ₤140 billion in value to the economy in new wages over
the past 15 years.
The City UK identifies 4 key areas for policymakers and other key stakeholders
to focus on, working in close partnership with the industry, to maintain the
UK's international competitiveness:-
► Rollout intra and inter regional partnerships, linking complementary regional
clusters and promoting engagement through partnerships and by unlocking
investment in infrastructure.
► Identifying and supporting emerging and disruptive innovation and growing
specialist industry clusters across the UK in these skills areas.
► Enhancing the UK's education system and ensuring specialist companies have
access to complementary skill sets.
► A stable and predictable business environment,
including the adoption of a clear and consistent approach to devolution, to
ensure the UK remains open for business from across the world.