Scots Finance industry seeks investment from abroad

Scottish Financial Enterprise CEO Sandy Begbie

Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), the member body for Scotland’s large financial and related professional services industry, has launched a major new promotional campaign to attract international investment.

The ‘From Scotland to the World’ campaign was launched at the Scottish Parliament and came as Scotland was once again named the UK’s premier inward investment location for financial services outside of London in EY’s annual Attractiveness Survey, while retaining its position as the UK’s second largest financial centre in The City UK’s latest ‘Enabling Growth Across the UK’ report.

Financial and related professional services are the largest contributor to the Scottish economy, worth around £14.3 billion GVA (gross value added).

The sector employs 160,000 people – around 9% national employment. There are almost £700 billion of assets under management in Scotland.

Major recent investments in Scotland include Barclays’ new Glasgow campus, which has expanded its Scottish headcount to 5,700 and JP Morgan’s new technology base in Glasgow, which will house around 2,700, while BlackRock recently announced plans to grow its headcount in Edinburgh to over 1,400 at its new iHub premises.

The campaign has been developed in partnership with Scottish Development International and the UK Department of Business and Trade. Both the Scottish and UK governments recognise the sector’s importance to the Scottish economy and strong potential for economic growth.

SFE CEO Sandy Begbie said: “Scotland’s financial and related professional services industry is one of our most prized national assets.

“We are an industry with a distinctive heritage, and through continued innovation, collaboration and investment, we are still shaping the future to this day, contributing around £14.3billion to the Scottish economy and directly employing tens of thousands of people across the country.

“Our new international campaign is about getting that message out to key investors around the world, bringing them in to be a part of our unique story, supporting our future growth and theirs.”

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said: “Scotland’s financial services industry makes a significant contribution to our economy and its strength in attracting investment is to be celebrated.

“I’m pleased to see recent successes being built on through this campaign. By emphasising the innovation we’ve seen in Scotland in areas such as fintech and data, there is an exciting opportunity for the sector to continue building success, investment and employment.”

Scott Walker, Managing Director, Co-Head BlackRock Edinburgh, said: “Scotland boasts a thriving financial sector that plays a vital role in the economy.

“Our presence in Scotland has been the foundation on which we built our European business, and our investments in critical social infrastructure and green projects demonstrates our commitment to, and confidence in, Scotland’s long term growth potential.”