Financial and related professional services exports from the North East increased by 3.4% year on year in 2021, exporting £1.9bn of these services, according to a new report.

‘Exporting from across Britain 2023’, provides analysis of the latest available data (2021) on financial and related professional services industry exports broken down by regions and nations across Great Britain.

The findings from TheCityUK. also reveal that in 2021, total financial and related professional services exports from across Great Britain reached £134.7bn – approximately £25 in every £100 of exports income. Nearly half (47%) of that contribution originated outside London, with the North East making a contribution of 1.4%. In terms of the destination of those exports, 22% went to the EU and the remaining 78% went to the rest of the world.

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Jerry Arneja, TheCityUK Chair in the North East, and Area Director, North East & Humber Business Banking, HSBC UK, said: “The North East is a thriving financial centre and it continues to showcase its strength in the financial and related professional services sector with a notable uplift in exports in 2021. This new report highlights the region’s pivotal role in the UK’s broader economy.”

Anjalika Bardalai, Chief Economist and Head of Research, TheCityUK, said, “Financial and related professional services make a significant contribution to the UK economy through their exports. In 2021, industry exports rebounded in the North East and, in fact, across most British regions and nations, following declines during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

“With nearly half of all financial and related professional services exports coming from outside London, the notion of London being the only place in the UK catering to international markets is a fallacy. The data also underline the contribution the North East plays in making the UK one of the world’s leading international financial centres.”

This report follows TheCityUK’s ‘Enabling growth across the UK 2023’ report, which found that the economic output of the North East’s financial and related professional services industry grew 12% over the decade to 2021. It also revealed that in 2021, the industry employed 56,000 people in the North East, representing 5% of the region’s total employment, and contributed over £3.6bn to the local economy.

TheCityUK sets out a series of recommendations to continue to grow export potential. These include:

  • Improving trade information accessibility • Enhance access to holistic, high-quality market intelligence and trade advice for potential exporters.
  • Involve devolved leaders across the UK’s regions and nations in developing a centralised tool to promote and attract investment into critical project in their areas.
  • Improve data collection on services trade to enable policymakers to better understand where growth opportunities lie.
  • Expanding the UK’s global financial and related professional services opportunities • Leverage the UK’s status as a leading services exporter to promote service liberalisation in international forums.
  • Focus on enhancing regulatory coherence with developed markets and deepen ties with emerging economies, such as China, India, Indonesia, and the Gulf states.

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  • Emphasise the necessity of regulatory cooperation with trade partners to address regulatory divergence and remove bilateral trade frictions.
  •  Building UK leadership in future demand areas UK-based businesses and government should work together to: • Transform the UK into a global hub for data and technology, using trade and investment policy to position itself at the forefront of technology and innovation within a more integrated global digital market.
  • Position the UK as the world’s premier gateway for international investment opportunities through reform of the UK's listings regime.