Big FourBusiness

Investor confidence in UK financial services hits new high

87% of respondents said the UK offers the ‘right environment’ for ESG investment.

Almost 90% of global financial services investors are planning to establish or expand operations in the UK in 2022 which is the highest since 2016, according to EY’s latest UK attractiveness survey.

Sentiment around planned investment into UK financial services has risen by 50% in the past year, compared to 11% from pre-pandemic levels.

Additionally, confidence in London as the “chief” location for new financial services investment into the UK reportedly remains, with 54% of global firms surveyed citing the capital as the “most attractive” UK region to establish or expand financial services operations, which is up 31% from spring 2021. 

The survey also revealed that 59% of global financial services firms said ESG was either the top priority or within the top three priorities of their board’s investment strategy, and 87% of respondents said the UK offers the “right environment” for ESG investment.

Scotland, which EY said is perceived as the second most attractive region for financial services investment, saw a decline from 15% in spring last year.

Overall, 90% of global financial services investors think the UK will retain the same level of attractiveness or improve over the next three years, EY said. This is up 75% from spring 2021 and 50% from 2020.

Anna Anthony, UK Financial Services managing partner at EY, said: “It’s encouraging that such a high proportion of global financial services firms are currently looking to grow their business in the UK. 

“This is testament to the stability and resilience of the mature UK market which continues to ably withstand the material challenges and uncertainty of both the pandemic and Brexit.”

She added: “With investor confidence at such a high point, the key now is to avoid complacency and ensure, especially on green finance, that rhetoric is turned into action.”

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